Cyprus’ banking sector shrinking

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The banking system shrunk further in 2022; nearly a thousand bank employees have left the sector, while banks have closed 56 branches across the island, also removing 62 ATMs from the network.

According to a Phileleftheros daily, quoting sources from the Cyprus Bank Association, banks reduced their staff by 12.6% in 2022 compared to the previous year, from 7,463 to 6,521.

Banks have been reducing their staff recently, offering generous early retirement packages to employees who choose to press the exit button.

Newcomers to the banking sector are mostly staff specialising in digital transformation.

The island’s largest lender, Bank of Cyprus, offloaded more than 400 employees, decreasing its staff numbers from 2,996 in 2021 to 2,567.

Hellenic Bank reduced its staff from 2,610 to 2,142, while Cyprus’ third systemic bank, Alpha Bank, went from 492 to 440.

Astrobank reduced the number of its employees from 464 to 444, while Eurobank Cyprus decreased to 435 from 448 the previous year.

The Cyprus Development Bank employed 138 employees, compared to 148, while the National Bank of Greece (Cyprus) had 111 employees on its payroll, compared to 128.

Société Générale had 102 employees from 198, while Ancoria increased its staff to 108 in 2022 from 103 the previous year.

The largest number of banking employees was recorded in 2012 when 12,853 people worked for banks.

The number of bank employees has halved since then, as 6,332 left the sector.

In addition to the departure of employees, banks also closed several branches and ATMs, resulting in significant network shrinkage.

In 2022 the number of branches was: Bank of Cyprus 90 (2021: 60), Hellenic 79 (2021: 55), Alpha Bank 17 (2021: 15), CDB Bank 2 (2021:2), Société Générale Cyprus 3 ( 2021:3), Astrobank 14 (2021:14), Eurobank 8 (2021: 8), Ancoria 3 (2021:3).

Available ATMs also shrunk in 2022 as banks promoted electronic transactions.

ATMs available in 2022: Bank of Cyprus 133 (2021:156), Hellenic Bank 161 (2021:192), Alpha Bank 12 (2021: 20), National Bank of Greece Cyprus 5 (2021:5), Societe Generale Cyprus 3 (2021:3), Astrobank 15 (2021:15), Ancoria 5 (2021:5).