In­spec­tion leads to At­tica shakeup

Kathimerini English - - Focus - YIANNIS PAPADOYIANNIS

Se­ri­ous find­ings dur­ing an on-thes­pot in­spec­tion con­ducted jointly by the Bank of Greece and the Sin­gle Su­per­vi­sory Mech­a­nism (SSM) of the Euro­pean Cen­tral Bank led to a rad­i­cal – the sec­ond within a few weeks – shakeup of the gov­ern­ing board of At­tica Bank this week, with the res­ig­na­tion of chief ex­ec­u­tive Alexandros Antonopou­los and six other mem­bers.

Bank sec­tor sources say that, in spite of the strict guide­lines is­sued by the BoG – which has had the len­der un­der close scru­tiny for some time now – At­tica Bank re­cently pro­ceeded with is­su­ing of loans with­out ad­her­ing to ba­sic bank­ing prin­ci­ples.

The reg­u­la­tory au­thor­i­ties re­sponded im­me­di­ately with a new in­spec­tion, de­mand­ing the re­place­ment of the man­age­ment and the rapid com­pli­ance of the bank with credit sec­tor rules.

In re­sponse to a ques­tion by the Cap­i­tal Mar­ket Com­mis­sion on Wed­nes­day, At­tica said it re­struc­tured its board in co­op­er­a­tion with the BoG, adding that the new ad­min­is­tra­tion will im­me­di­ately com­ply with the rec­om­men­da­tions of the in­spec­tion re­port. The fact that the bank’s re­sponse also refers to a new Euro­pean law on the stream­lin­ing of credit in­sti­tu­tions, in­clud­ing a bail-in process, shows that At­tica’s man­age­ment and stake­hold­ers were threat­ened with some very tough op­tions.

The bank added that last month it re­ceived a draft of the in­spec­tion re­port by the SSM and the BoG, which con­tained find­ings on the op­er­a­tion of in­ter­nal gov­er­nance, the busi­ness model, the share cap­i­tal in­crease, the pro­ce­dures re­fer­ring to credit risk and the in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy sys­tems used by the len­der.

The fi­nal ver­sion of the in­spec­tion re­port will be de­liv­ered to the bank in Septem­ber.

Its new man­age­ment, led by ex­ec­u­tive pres­i­dent Anna Pousk­ouri, will im­me­di­ately pro­ceed to a rad­i­cal re­struc­tur­ing and the strict im­ple­men­ta­tion of bank­ing rules at all lev­els of op­er­a­tion. It will also cover the 70 mil­lion eu­ros not cov­ered by the share cap­i­tal in­crease in the con­text of last year’s re­cap­i­tal­iza­tion of the sec­tor.

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