articles | 04 March 2019

Bank of Cyprus CEO Hourican to leave in September 2019

Bank of Cyprus CEO John Patrick Hourican has handed in his resignation to the group, and will leave the island after working six months notice in September 2019, the bank announced recently.

By the time he leaves, Hourican will have spent nearly six years as the Group Chief Executive Officer. He will pursue a commercial opportunity in the United Kingdom.

The boards of BoC Holdings and the bank itself will launch, in line with the Corporate Governance Code, the process of identifying a suitable candidate to succeed Hourican.

In an announcement, the boards expressed their “thanks and deep appreciation” to Hourican “for his leadership and exceptional service to the Bank of Cyprus Group during the most critical period in its recent history”.

Hourican, the said “has guided the bank’s restructuring, its recapitalisation, a restoration of confidence, and has been instrumental in developing appropriate strategies for dealing with the challenge of coping with large nonperforming exposures, shrinking the Bank to strength, and developing a strong senior executive team that will guide the Bank in the period ahead.”

Chairman of the Boards Josef Ackermann commented: “I want to express mine and the Boards’ sincere thanks to John for playing such a pivotal role in the Group’s repair and for devoting nearly six years in leading the Bank of Cyprus Group. John remains committed to leave behind a strong management team and a Bank in a steadily improving financial shape, with restored customer confidence. We will continue to work closely with him in the months ahead, also ensuring a smooth transition to the new leadership.”

In a separate announcement, the Group announced its Preliminary Full Year Results for 2018. These present a bank with high levels of capital, significant surplus liquidity and a clear strategy to complete the de-risking.

Hourican’s contract was renewed last year until the end of 2020.

The Irish banker joined Bank of Cyprus in late 2013, the most dramatic year in the bank’s history, in which depositors saw almost half of their uninsured deposits turned into equity.

Hourican is known for his no-nonsense approach and his criticism of Cypriot politicians. In November 2015 he accused politicians of being populist and making the non-performing loan (NPL) situation in the banking sector worse with their actions.

In an interview with the Associated Press, he said it had been embarrassing for him to explain to people abroad, actions that had delayed and diluted the foreclosures legislation, which was supposedly designed to help banks deal with NPLs effectively.

“The parliamentarians have decided heading into an election year that it’s good to raise populist measures and what they’re doing is driving up delinquencies and not helping us fix them,” Hourican said.

Hourican came to the island after being head of investment banking at RBS, where he became “a politically trussed up and highly paid sacrificial lamb in the Libor rigging scandal in which he played no part”, according to the Sunday Times in Dublin.

In an interview with the paper Hourican said his decision to come to Cyprus was partly driven by the injustice of the bail-in on the island.

“I think the bail-in of depositors was a very aggressive act towards a small nation that had sat within the protection of a larger federation,” he says. “I felt the country had been poorly treated.”

Source: Cyprus Mail

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