Sal­las de­par­ture from Pi­raeus Bank marks the end of an era

Kathimerini English - - Front Page - BY YIANNIS PAPADOYIANNIS

The de­ci­sion by Pi­raeus Bank Chair­man Michalis Sal­las to depart from the group’s governing board, an­nounced yes­ter­day, con­sti­tutes the end of an era not just for the lender but for the Greek credit sec­tor in gen­eral. Al­though his de­par­ture had been ex­pected for some time, the an­nounce­ment of his de­ci­sion to step down came as a sur­prise to many.

Sal­las early yes­ter­day con­vened the Pi­raeus Bank board to ten­der his res­ig­na­tion, telling his as­so­ci­ates that his in­ten­tion is to make way for young peo­ple at the top of the bank’s pyra­mid.

Sal­las made sure he in­formed Bank of Greece Gover­nor Yannis Stournaras of his de­ci­sion first, with the cen­tral banker re­spond­ing with a let­ter say­ing: “I wish to con­grat­u­late and thank you for the 30 years of your cre­ative con­tri­bu­tion to the Greek bank­ing sys­tem and the evo­lu­tion of the Greek economy.”

Ad­dress­ing the bank’s board, Sal­las said that he had in­formed the com­pe­tent in­sti­tu­tions over his in­ten­tion not to par­tic­i­pate in the new ad­min­is­tra­tion of the group since early 2016. “It is ob­vi­ous that af­ter the re­cent re­cap­i­tal­iza­tion there is a new cor­po­rate and fi­nan­cial en­vi­ron­ment, which may re­quire the ex­pe­ri­ence of old of­fi­cials but also needs the strength of young peo­ple, new man­agers who will shoul­der the bur­den of lead­ing the bank into the new era.” Sal­las also ex­plained that he could not depart ear­lier as the board was un­der as­sess­ment. It is noted that Pi­raeus Bank re­ceived a pos­i­tive as­sess­ment from the Hel­lenic Fi­nan­cial Sta­bil­ity Fund.

The Pi­raeus Bank board un­equiv­o­cally agreed to pro­claim Sal­las as the lender’s hon­orary chair­man, ap­point­ing Charik­lia Apala­gaki as a tem­po­rary chair­woman.

Sal­las’s de­par­ture marks the last of a gen­er­a­tion that led the growth and ag­gres­sive ex­pan­sion of lo­cal banks in Greece and abroad af­ter the grad­ual lib­er­al­iza­tion of the bank­ing sys­tem in the early 1990s. Sal­las in par­tic­u­lar is cred­ited with the im­pres­sive growth of Pi­raeus Bank from 1990 to 2008, as well as with the suc­cess­ful han­dling of the con­se­quences of the eco­nomic cri­sis. How­ever, his last few months were dom­i­nated by a clash be­tween the bank and its US in­vestor John Paul­son on the re­place­ment of the then chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer An­thi­mos Tho­mopou­los.

Michalis Sal­las’s de­par­ture marks the end of a gen­er­a­tion that led the growth and ag­gres­sive ex­pan­sion of lo­cal banks in Greece and abroad af­ter the grad­ual lib­er­al­iza­tion of the bank­ing sys­tem in the early 1990s.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Greece

© PressReader. All rights reserved.