* Execs continue to march past investigators
Bank of Cyprus is expected to close a further 12 branches by next month, raising the total closures to 29 so far.
The bank currently operates 202 branches, including those it absorbed from the Popular Laiki Bank, with the total workforce now estimated at 5,760. Last week, the bank announced a redundancy package with a ceiling set at 150,000 euros, to allow 1,200 to 1,500 people to leave as part of the restructuring plan undertaken by interim CEO Christos Sorotos upon the advice of consultants McKinsey & Co.
The offer is valid until the end of July and is applicable to all Group personnel, as well as staff at subsidiaries and the employees of former Laiki.
The basic package correspond to a monthly wage for every two years’ of service, plus a bonus of five salaries, as well as medical cover until the end of 2014. At least 50% of all loans must be settled.
Meanwhile, senior banking executives continue to roll past the panel probing the “banking scandal” to try to shed some light on actions that led to both banks buying toxic Greek government bonds that ultimately spelt their downfall.
One of the most interesting appearances will be that of former CEO Andreas Eliades, who is expected to appear on July 22.
Last week, he had been named as some of the top executives at Bank of Cyprus taking home close to half a million euros during the lender’s heyday.
Eliades, who resigned in July 2012, earned 324,000 euros in salary and received 273,600 in bonuses.
Yiannis Kypri, the last CEO prior to the bank’s downfall, got a paycheque of 213,750 euros plus 128,250 in bonuses. Former finance minister Charilaos Stavrakis, a deputy group CEO in 2005, earned wages of 242,820 euros and a bonus of 171,000, according to the testimony of board member Andreas Pittas who sat on the bank’s remuneration committee.
In his earlier testimony, Kypri pointed the finger at Eliades for the ultimate responsibility to buy the Greek government bonds and exposing the bank to billions in losses.
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