CYPRUS: Customer confidence in local banks is on the rise

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Customer confidence in the Cyprus banking system is on the rise after the bumpy ride following the closure of the Co-op Bank last year.

A survey conducted by online news site Stockwatch shows Cypriot confidence towards banks increasing for the first time since the initial shock caused from the closure of Co-op and the acquisition of its good assets portfolio by Hellenic Bank.

The 600 households participating in the survey conducted in December 2018 gave Cyprus banks an average score of 4.82 from 4.48 in July.

Consumers were asked to what extent they trust eight banking institutions active in the country and to which extent they would recommend them to others. Answers were given on a scale from 0 to 10.

Bank of Cyprus is first on the list receiving a score of 5.85, compared to 5.75 in the previous survey. BOC has led the assessment since early 2017.

Stockwatch has conducted the survey since the banking crisis in 2013 when a haircut was applied on deposits above EUR 100,000.

On the question of reliability, consumers rated BoC with a 6 and on whether they would recommend it to others a 5.7.

Confidence in the island’s second systemic bank, Hellenic, increased to 5.55 from 5.20 in the July 2018 survey. After acquiring the Co-op’s good assets, Hellenic’s credibility has returned to 2017 levels.

RCB received 4.55 out of 10 by households for credibility, compared to 4.95 in July, recording a significant deterioration. It is the lowest rating that RCB has received since the survey began.

As far as other banks are concerned, Eurobank received 4.70 out of 10 compared to 4.65 in July, Alpha 4.85 from 4.70 and Astrobank 4.45 from 4.25.

CDB scored 4.3 compared to 4.15 in July and USB 4.30, falling from 4.35.

The survey was conducted island-wide – three times a year – using random multi-stage layered sampling.