The Central Bank of Cyprus began the process for the selection of an independent auditing firm, which will carry out an independent evaluation of the implementation of the anti-money laundering legal framework in Cypriot financial institutions.
Reliable sources told that the troika and Cyprus Finance Ministry reached an agreement on the mandate of the auditing firm, which must conclude the evaluation in March, as the Eurogroup decided on March 4.
In its statement, the Eurogroup had called on the international institutions and Cyprus to accelerate their work on the building blocks of a programme, and agreed to target political endorsement of the programme around the second half of March.
The Eurogroup will convene again in the near term and the progress of the discussions between the Cypriot authorities and the international institutions is expected to be discussed.
The Council of Europe’s Committee of experts on the evaluation of anti-money laundering measures, Moneyval, will also take part in the evaluation procedure.
Excluded from international capital markets, Cyprus has requested financial assistance from the EU bailout mechanism after its two largest banks sought state aid following massive losses of their Greek bond holdings estimated at €4.5 billion, as a result of the Greek sovereign debt haircut.
Nicosia rejects allegations that Cypriot banks engage in money-laundering activities. The government has repeatedly said that it has “nothing to hide”.
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