RCB Bank announced on Monday it will relinquish its banking licence – a formality completing the lender’s transformation into an asset management company.

The decision was taken by the bank’s board of directors.

A statement released said the decision to exit the banking business follows on from the fact that RCB currently has zero deposits.

The board thanked its clients for their trust over the past 27 years, and said that under its new capacity and brand name the entity would continue operations in Cyprus and Europe, “contributing to supporting growth and prosperity.”

In 2020 the bank made €11.5 million in profits, compared to €32 million the year before.

In March this year, RCB announced its intention to phase out its banking operations and transform into an asset management company.

There had been warnings for the bank, as there was an outflow of deposits after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Much of RCB’s business depended on the Russian market, while the escalation of the war and broadening of sanctions increased uncertainty about its future. A bigger outflow of deposits would have brought in the Single Resolution Mechanism, and this would have put depositors’ money at risk.

Also in March, the bank announced the sale of a performing loan portfolio worth €565 million to Hellenic Bank – generating the liquidity to cover all its obligations to depositors.