Thomas Cook’s bankruptcy has sounded alarm bells also for Cyprus banks as they are concerned over the consequences on clients who were very dependent on the British firm.
The day after the shocking bankruptcy, banks are looking into the number of clients in the tourism industry who are the most vulnerable. And in a dire need to replace lost revenue, which, for some it is in the hundreds of thousands and for others in the millions, according to insiders.
One told Phileleftheros that this unpleasant development has to be tackled calmly and swiftly, especially because a lot of hotels in Cyprus have expanded over the recent past years. And the gaps left from Thomas Cook’s collapse have to be filled with new markets and new revenue.
Cyprus Hoteliers Association head Haris Loizides yesterday said that a lot of hotels will be in dire financial straits from the bleak development. And all this when the tourism industry was performing well and had managed to reduce significantly the sector’s non-performing loans.
At the end of the first quarter of 2019, the sector’s non-performing loans stood at €263.67 million out of a total debt of €2.6 billion. The improvement over the recent years was substantial considering that red loans in 2015 were €1.30 billion, €1 billion in 2016 and €337 million in 2017.
In the meantime, announcements have been issued for clients who used Bank of Cyprus and Hellenic Bank credit cards to purchase airline tickets or travel packages. They are advised to first check the Thomas Cook website for updated information on how to get booked tickets and/or travel packages. If they are left with no solution, then they should check the banks’ websites.
Bank of Cyprus clients should contact 1Bank at 800 00 800 or 00357 22 12 8000 (if calling from abroad) or any Bank of Cyprus branch. Hellenic Bank customers should contact the Customer Service Centre at 8000 9999 (+357 22500500 if calling from abroad) or any Hellenic Bank branch.