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Data commissioner wants House to ask ECB if PEPs list could be analysed

The personal data commissioner said parliament should ask the European Central Bank (ECB) if a list containing names of politically exposed persons (PEPs) with non-performing loans could be analysed, it emerged on Friday.

Publication of the list has been the subject of a lengthy ongoing debate in parliament which has been accused of trying to keep a lid on the issue.

In a letter to parliament, commissioner Irini Loizidou Nicolaidou said she had been informed by the central bank governor that they had no information on how the data contained in the list had been collected.

As far as the governor understood, the letter said, MPs wanted the list analysed and evaluated, something which could fall under the remit of the supervisor of systemic banks, which was the ECB.

Nicolaidou said collection of the data was possibly done without the involvement of the ECB, meaning that drafting it could have been illegal.

Τhe PEP document – marked ‘confidential’ – was first delivered to House president Demetris Syllouris by former central bank governor Chrystalla Georghadji in April 2019 just before she stepped down.

Syllouris then returned it to her successor, Constantinos Herodotou, arguing that the former governor had not followed proper procedure.

In July, parliament voted to publish the list but inserted a caveat that President Nicos Anastasiades would have to make the final decision.

Anastasiades referred the list back to parliament citing the opinion of the attorney-general who said under the constitution, the president must sign parliamentary decisions and publication of the list was an expression of will, not a decision.

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