SSM weighs in on Na­tional-HFSF clash

Frank­furt calls on Fund to avoid call­ing a gen­eral meet­ing as that would es­ca­late the cri­sis at the bank

Kathimerini English - - Focus - BY YIAN­NIS PAPADOYIANNIS

The Euro­pean Cen­tral Bank’s Sin­gle Su­per­vi­sory Mech­a­nism (SSM) waded into the rift be­tween Na­tional and bank bailout fund HFSF yes­ter­day, say­ing in a let­ter that an ex­tra­or­di­nary gen­eral meet­ing – that the HFSF wants to call – would lead to a fur­ther es­ca­la­tion of the cri­sis.

The let­ter con­sti­tutes an ad­vi­sory opin­ion and is not bind­ing on the Hel­lenic Fi­nan­cial Sta­bil­ity Fund; how­ever, this is a sig­nif­i­cant in­ter­ven­tion on the mat­ter of the ap­point­ment of the new Na­tional Bank pres­i­dent, as the SSM is the mon­i­tor­ing body of the bank’s reg­u­la­tor, the ECB.

The HFSF, which yes­ter­day had a board meet­ing to dis­cuss the sit­u­a­tion at NBG, is ex­am­in­ing all its op­tions, in­clud­ing call­ing an NBG gen­eral meet­ing given that it is the lender’s main share­holder. It seems that there can be no rap­proche­ment be­tween the HFSF and the NBG board with­out any sig­nif­i­cant back­track­ing on the part of the bank.

Last week, fol­low­ing the in­ter­ven­tion by Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Yian­nis Dra­gasakis, ru­mors spoke of the up­com­ing res­ig­na­tion of Na­tional’s chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer, Leonidas Fragki­adakis. NBG sources rule this out, and yes­ter­day Fragki­adakis told a meet­ing of se­nior Na­tional of­fi­cials that the bank “re­quires nor­mal­ity when we have so many open is­sues. The am­bi­tion of our re­struc­tur­ing plan cur­rently makes it es­sen­tial that we are on good terms with all par­ties in­volved, first of all with our share­hold­ers and our reg­u­la­tors.”

“Our in­ten­tion after all this is for us to emerge united so that things can im­prove. We will there­fore take some ini­tia­tives to­ward smooth­ing re­la­tions with the Fund. There was no in­ten­tion for a rift with the HFSF,” Fragki­adakis re­port­edly said.

HFSF sources, on the other hand, dis­pute the claims about the NBG hav­ing had no in­ten­tion of caus­ing rift, stress­ing that it was Na­tional’s moves that have com­pli­cated things, leav­ing lit­tle room for any pain­less so­lu­tions. Kathimerini un­der­stands that there are peo­ple at the Fund in fa­vor of tak­ing a hard stance to­ward Na­tional, but not all HFSF coun­cil mem­bers agree.

Sources from the Bank of Greece – on the same wave­length as the SSM – say that any ac­tion that could lead to an es­ca­la­tion of the cri­sis ought to be avoided as this could have se­ri­ous im­pli­ca­tions for Na­tional.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Greece

© PressReader. All rights reserved.