Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Desperate Cypriots look to UK

Cyprus Popular Bank in the UK, also known as Laiki UK, is warning account holders in Cyprus itself that they cannot withdraw money from branches here.

Reports in Cyprus have suggested that Cypriots have been managing to extract funds from UK branches, despite the extended closure of the banking system on the island and strict limits on ATM withdrawals.

The rumours have prompted calls to the UK from Cypriots desperate to gain access to their money.

Under the terms of the Cyprus bailout, Laiki Bank in Cyprus is being closed down and customers face the loss of some or all their savings above the 100,000 euros per depositor which is guaranteed by the government.

"Money cannot get off the island," said Ruth Harvey, part of Laiki's management team in London, "It's physically impossible".

"The only people who can get access to their money are UK customers with UK bank accounts."

Laiki UK has 13,000 UK depositors and branches in London and Birmingham.

The Chancellor, George Osborne, said yesterday that the Treasury was negotiating a "British solution" to help Laiki's UK customers who are fearful that they will lose out.

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