x

Economy

Cyprus’ RCB Bank to Close, Cites Russia’s Ukraine Invasion

NICOSIA — RCB Bank in Cyprus said Thursday an “extremely volatile geopolitical situation” has prompted it to wind down operations and turn itself into an asset management company.

The announcement came exactly a month after the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. At that time, the bank announced that Cypriot shareholders had acquired all of the 46.29% stake in its share capital previously held by Russia’s VTB Bank.

The bank on Thursday said in a statement that despite its “abundant liquidity,” it will immediately stop opening new accounts or giving out new loans following an agreement with the European Central Bank.

Auditors Deloitte have been appointed to manage the bank’s transition and help settle all its obligations to depositors. The bank will carry on business with existing clients as usual until its transition is complete “in the coming months.”

Earlier this week, the bank announced a 556 million-euro ( $611 million) sale of its loan assets to Cyprus’ Hellenic Bank. Central Bank officials who spoke on condition of anonymity said the sale buttresses the bank’s liquidity to “fully cover” all its obligations to depositors amid concerns over a steady stream of withdrawals over the past few weeks.

Overall deposits prior to the acquisition of VTB’s stake amounted to 1.5 billion euros ($1.65 billion). Some 67% was held by Cypriots, although that percentage has since dropped to just under 50%.

Central Bank officials said deposits affected by sanctions against Russia were “under 50 million euros.”

Still reeling from a 2013 financials crisis that put the country on the verge of bankruptcy, Cyprus has been at pains to rehabilitate its image as a money laundering haven where Russian oligarchs could park their cash.

The Cypriot government has said the impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will be limited because of a raft of measures to reduce Cyprus’ exposure to the Russian economy.

Banking officials who spoke on condition of anonymity said that Russia-linked deposits in Cypriot banks amount to between 4% and 6%.

RELATED

NICOSIA - Seven countries including Greece, the US, France, Italy and Israel have taken part in a series of drills in and around Cyprus designed to ease civilian evacuations from conflict zones and to conduct offshore rescue operations, amid a renewed sense of urgency due to the war in Ukraine.

Top Stories

General News

FALMOUTH, MA – The police in Falmouth have identified the victim in an accident involving a car plunging into the ocean on February 20, NBC10 Boston reported.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

General News

PHILADELPHIA – The Federation of Hellenic Societies of Philadelphia and Greater Delaware Valley announced that the Evzones, the Presidential Guard of Greece will be participating in the Philadelphia Greek Independence Day Parade on March 20.

Video

Mission…to Amyntaio, a TNH Documentary by Clelia Charissis

Dear readers, let me briefly introduce myself, while wishing you "a summer full of positive energy and good health.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.