With the island’s banking system still in turmoil because of the high level of non-performing loans, employees of big lenders could not remain unaffected. Especially those in red loan divisions despite the fact that more and more foreign specialised loan management companies are buying portfolios.
Specifically, these bank employees have either been transferred to the companies that took over non-performing loans or are candidates for a temporary transfer. And, always, in consultation with ETYK – the Cyprus Bank Employees Union.
So far, the union has managed to brand all these employees as “borrowed” ones and they did return to the banks after some time, according to Phileleftheros.
Specifically, 108 employees were transferred from Apollo’s Gordian Holdings to Bank of Cyprus after the sake of a red loan portfolio with a gross value of €2.8 billion. Agreement on the time period after which these employees will be entitled to return to the bank is still pending, but insiders believe it’s going to be a maximum of five years.
As for Hellenic Bank, an agreement was reached with APS for the management of non-performing loans of €2.4 billion in January 2017. This meant that 117 employees were transferred to the new company set up with Hellenic Bank holding a 49% stake and APS the remaining 51% in July 2017.
The agreement between Hellenic and ETYK provided that these employees had a minimum of two and a maximum of five years of a return right. By July 2019, more than half of the ‘borrowed’ employees returned to Hellenic.
In August 2018, Altamira Asset Management Cyprus relocated a total of 350 former Co-operative Bank employees, of whom 108 soon opted for a voluntary retirement plan and left. Altamira manages a collapsed Co-op Bank red loan portfolio of almost €7 billion.
Under agreements signed by then Co-op Bank and Etyk as well as other trade unions, all employees transferred to Altamira have the right to return to KEDIPES after one year – that is, as from February 2020.