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Bankers’ union welcomes management changes at Hellenic Bank

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Hellenic Bank Building

Cyprus bankers’ union Etyk this week released a statement conveying their positive outlook on the recent changes in the administration of Hellenic Bank, congratulating the interim Chief Executive Officer Antonis Rouvas on his appointment.

It also expressed hope that Rouvas will “reorient the bank towards the proper, people-centred direction and strengthen its profitability”.

In their statement, Etyk noted their surprise regarding the resignation of former CEO Oliver Gatzke from Hellenic Bank, as they had scheduled a meeting with the Honorary President of Etyk to discuss various trade union-related matters for the following month.

“The reasons that led to Gatzke’s resignation remain unanswered,” the union stated.

Assessing the tenure of the departing chairman, Etyk stated that “neither he nor Berd Pijls, a previous CEO, left a positive mark”.

The union asserts that the “only actions worth remembering” during Gatzke’s time would be the sale of APS and the portfolio of non-performing loans, along with “provocative behaviours towards the staff”.

What is more, Etyk emphasised that the experiment with “foreign imports” has failed, expressing hope that “the Board of Directors of Hellenic Bank will seriously consider the above factors when searching for a new permanent Chief Executive Officer”.

The union continued by saying that “the new CEO should possess knowledge, experience, and an understanding of the Cypriot market, its culture, and history”.

Additionally, Etyk called for “dignity, stability, and reliability in the new appointment”.

Moreover, the union recognised the “upgraded” role of the current Board of Directors of the bank, particularly Chairman Christos Themistocleous, promising to support Antonis Rouvas in his new duties.

“We intend to promptly address all outstanding issues at the bank for the benefit of both shareholders and employees while respecting society and customers,” the union said.

Etyk also expressed its hope that “arrogant and provocative behaviours with a tendency to disregard the staff will not reappear at the bank”, while referencing Rouvas’ message to the banks’ employees, which concluded by saying that that “at the end of the day, the bank is its people”.

Earlier this week, Hellenic Bank’s recently-appointed interim CEO Antonis Rouvas expressed his commitment to promoting changes and addressing long-standing issues at the bank.

He emphasised the importance of preserving and strengthening the bank’s resilient business model.

One of his key priorities, he said, is to handle chronic issues, particularly the pending collective agreement with the bank’s staff, which has been a longstanding demand from the Etyk.

Rouvas, who previously served as the bank’s CFO, assumed the interim CEO position following Oliver Gatzke’s resignation.

“I take up this position with full awareness of the responsibilities of this role. As of today, we roll up our sleeves and continue with the same zeal and commitment to achieve our goals,” Rouvas said in a message to the bank’s staff.

“We are built on solid foundations and my intention is to promote changes and, with the guidance of the board of directors, to handle chronic issues, such as the pending collective agreement,” he added.

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