Cyprus bail-in ensured Russians would be bank saviours

Cyprus bail-in ensured Russians would be bank saviours

NICOSIA - Russians now have a say in key lender Bank of Cyprus because of European reluctance to fully bail out Nicosia, fearing that would safeguard oligarchs' ill-gotten gains, analysts believe.

"Unlike all the other bailout countries the Eurogroup did not want to give Cyprus a full bailout, largely because of media hysteria about alleged money-laundering," finance analyst Fiona Mullen told AFP.

She said six Russians being appointed to the 16-member board of Bank of Cyprus last week should not surprise anyone because it was a natural consequence of the harsh bailout terms.

"Russians running the biggest bank in Cyprus is a consequence of that (bailout), so the answer to eurozone leaders is 'you get what you pay for'," she said.

During its arduous and long drawn-out bailout negotiations with international lenders, Cyprus was portrayed, especially by Germany, as a laundromat for dirty Russian money.

Local banks were accused of asking no questions when rich oligarchs wanted to park their cash - which is why Cypriots suspect international lenders ensured Cyprus was the only eurozone member where uninsured depositors were forced to contribute.

Purchase this article for republication.

BRANDINSIDER

SPONSORED

Most Read

Your daily good stuff - AsiaOne stories delivered straight to your inbox
By signing up, you agree to our Privacy policy and Terms and Conditions.