Cyprus Mail

Lymbia residents up in arms over bank closure

The residents of Lymbia in the Nicosia district will hold protests and may also withdraw all their money if Hellenic Bank goes ahead with a decision to close a branch in their village.

In a written statement released on Thursday, the community council said a meeting with Hellenic Bank representatives the previous day did not yield any results.

According to the council, the bank’s position was negative, tough, and inhuman.

Lymbia residents are up in arms over the lender’s decision to shutter a branch in their village, which they say serves some 3,000 people.

The branch belonged to the co-op bank and was taken by Hellenic as part of a deal for the acquisition of certain assets and liabilities.

The bank argues that Lymbia residents can do their banking at nearby Dhali. If it had a branch per 3,000 people it would mean some 267 branches in a country, which already has an excessive number, it says.

The Lymbia branch was among 100 slated to close by the co-op bank itself but it never happened most probably because of populist reasons as is often the case in Cyprus.

The acquisition has left Hellenic with the co-op’s 172 branches scattered across the island, including remote communities.

Hellenic will close around 100 branches, leaving it with 125, the biggest branch network in Cyprus.

Lymbia residents said they will stage a protest on September 15 outside the branch and invitations will be conveyed to all political parties.

They also plan a protest outside Hellenic’s HQ in Nicosia while there were also strong suggestions to withdraw deposits if the bank doesn’t change its mind.

A letter will also be written to the president to intervene in this “most serious” of problems faced by the community.

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