Local
articles | 27 December 2013

BoC sets up special unit to sell off properties from bad loans

Bank of Cyprus is setting up a special unit responsible for selling off property and managing assets acquired from clients unable to pay back their loans.

The unit – under the restructuring and recoveries section – will be supervised by Scotland-born consultant Euan Hamilton, according to finance news website Stockwatch. And it will be headed by a senior bank director with expertise in the property sector – especially in negotiations for selling and purchasing real estate, it added. The unit was only part of an action plan announced recently by newly-appointed Irish CEO John Hourican who also told directors in a circular that the cash-strapped lender’s credibility has to be restored – sooner rather than later.

The circular mainly focused on task forces within the bank that will manage non-performing loans which – in September – were recorded at 48% of overall loans. A restructuring and recoveries section will be divided into six units – one of which to focus on retail clients and Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs). Another unit will be in charge of big clients – especially for those owing the island’s biggest lender - over €100 million. In general, the task of the recoveries unit will be the implementation of more effective approaches to paying back debt as well as executing the necessary strategy. Last but not least, an analysts unit will oversee campaigns aiming towards the improvement of recovery procedures and borrowers’ attitude. Hourican’s words in the circular were: “Speed ​​of thought and action is importantto our success”.

He recently told journalists there were indications that non-performing loans were starting to stabilize and so was the lender which posted a €1.94 billion net loss in the first nine months of the year. The CEO had warned that the ride in 2014 will be bumpy. Hourican has already given a stern warning to those who were responsible for the largest non-performing loans, describing their failure to pay as 'sinful.'

Source: InCyprus

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