articles | 30 December 2015

BoC says 2016 will be improved year

Cyprus has weathered a storm of immense proportions and has demonstrated that this crisis, as ones in the past, can be weathered despite a treatment that many regard as less than fair by Cyprus’ partners, according to BoC CEO John Hourican.

The tenacity, focus and deliberate effort that we have all been part of since 2013, must continue unabated: 2015 was a year marked by massive effort, good progress and the keeping of our promises. 2016 will need to be a year of continued effort and accelerated delivery in support of a recovering Cyprus economy.

This remains our focus in Bank of Cyprus. The banking industry continues to be burdened with excessively high levels of delinquent loans, household and business indebtness continues to stifle growth and the abrupt dissaving that occurred in 2013 continues to limit opportunity. Customer service must be more intensely improved so that we can provide service that is not only satisfactory, but of top quality.

We will not shirk from the challenge. We welcome it and we will continue to deal with it with equal measures of ambition, humility and determination.

We have made very good progress in reducing ELA beyond the expectations of even the most optimistic observers and this must continue. The management of loans in arrears and restructuring must also continue even though good progress that has been made, especially in the last quarter of 2015.

The banking system, and Bank of Cyprus especially as the industry leader, need to support the economy of the country by extending rational, careful lending to viable customers and by assisting existing customers to return to viability and growth. Our re-focus on Cyprus away from other overseas jurisdictions is now complete and we remain devoted to supporting the economy of the country and its return to conditions that will allow Cypriots to not only make plans for the future, but to also dream of bigger and better things to come.

Austerity has its limits. With prudent management, the immediate fiscal problems have been mostly tackled. Reforms are underway. however, we need to start discussing more intently the road to prosperity- a new economic model for growth, stability and opportunity for all Cypriots. At Bank of Cyprus, we wish to engage in this discussion with all stakeholders, participating in the emergence of a new promise for the country and prosperity for all its citizens.

Our wish, alongside all Cypriots, is that the year can bring a reunification of the island. The coming year will not be an easy one, but with ambition, renewed energy and clarity of purpose and effort, I am certain that it will be better.

Source: Cyprus Mail

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