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Limassol residents demonstrate as only bank is shuttered


Residents of Limassol’s Ayios Athanasios municipality protested on Wednesday against a Hellenic Bank decision to close its last branch in the area.

Mayor Marinos Kyriakou said residents were frustrated and bitter about a decision which will have immediate serious repercussions and cause huge inconvenience to the local community.

The closure of the branch does not only affect residents of Ayios Athanasios, but those of neighbouring communities, shopkeepers, industrialists and refugees, the majority of whom are old and not familiar with new technology, he added.

“Digitisation, which is used as an excuse to deter the public from visiting banks, marginalises citizens who do not and cannot have access to or do not know how to use the technology,” he said.

It is incomprehensible that a municipality with more than 20,000 residents does not have a single bank and the public is inconvenienced looking for service from branches which are not easily accessible, he added.

The specific branch on Anoikodomiseos road was housed in the former co-op whose operations were first merged with the co-op and later taken over by Hellenic a few years ago. Kyriakou said that residents were angry that the human face of the co-op saving banks has ended up in the hands of people whose only thought is increasing their profits.

He urged the board of Hellenic to revise its decision and allow the branch to continue operations.

Demonstrators cut off traffic on the street for a few minutes in protest.

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