Bank of Cyprus’s chief executive officer John Hourican said that as the largest Cypriot lender was about to engage in financing of Cypriot and Greek shipping, roughly 17 per cent of global tonnage, it will do so via careful risk management, taking into account global geo-economic and geopolitical trends.
“The facts today suggest that this business area has the potential to be a sensible, profitable and indeed long-term business for Bank of Cyprus,” Hourican told delegates at the Shipping Forecast Summit in Limassol on Monday. “We aim to become a trusting banking partner”.
The decision for the bank was made possible after the Irish banker was convinced to overturn his “careerlong negative bias towards shipping finance from (his) own time” at the Royal Bank of Scotland.
Bank of Cyprus, which four years ago, was forced to convert almost half of its depositors uninsured funds into equity as part of Cyprus’s bailout terms and is still struggling with a mountain of non-performing loans, wishes to serve the Cypriot and Greek shipping community “through careful customer selection, careful asset selection and actually being there over the long term for this market,” the bank’s top executive said.
“It is essential that we as (business) leaders understand and have a view on mega-trends that are impacting the world around us,” and include global demographic and social changes, shifts in global economic pattering today, climate change, technological progress, Hourican said. “The world we live in today, is changing and there are many difficult truths that we as business leaders must address as we plan our future prosperity and economic survival”.