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Marios Cleridis: Banks will not be affected by the sanctions

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Comment on the information on closing accounts of Russian citizens by Cypriot banks

Μàριος Κληρiδης: Δεν θα επη&rho ;εαστοyν οι τραπεζες απo τις κυρoσ ει&sigmaf?

The Cypriot banking system will not be affected by the new sanctions against Russia, said the former President of the Cyprus Capital Market Commission, economist, Marios Cleridis, commenting on the information about the closure of accounts of Russian citizens by Cypriot banks.

“The Cypriot banking system used to have income from the transactions of the Russians, but due to the gradual sanctions against Russia and the issues that arose in relation to the granting of Cypriot passports to investors, the Cypriot banks were slowly adapting to this subject, with the result that today their transactions in this part are minimal”, he added.

In addition, Mr. Cleridis emphasized that there is no concern at the moment about the possibility of “funds leaving the Cypriot banks, due to the sanctions against Russia because we know that the banks have excess liquidity”.

He said also that if funds leave, it may also be helpful for the Cypriot banks, as due to the excess liquidity they have today, it is difficult to monitor a small Russian account whether it is making illegal movements, which are contrary to the sanctions imposed.< /p>

He also stated that “due to the resentment it has from its past”, Cyprus always puts a lot of effort into an issue that arises, such as the sanctions against Russia, in order to clear its name, which was recorded negatively in various reports in the past.

“The only way to clear your name is to be ten times stricter than other countries for many years”, he underlined.

Mr Cleridis explained how the aspects concerning the closing of accounts, in all countries it is done when it is difficult to supervise and when you have some doubt about these accounts”, he added.

He mentioned for example the English banks when in 2013 (due to the financial crisis in Cyprus) they closed too many Cypriot accounts because they did not know whether the money moving in these accounts was illegal or not.

Mr. Cleridis said that there is a constant examination of the accounts which makes it difficult to understand from which operations the money deposited in these accounts comes from.

The second reason why a Cypriot bank proceeds to close accounts, according to Mr. Clerides, is the fact that banks need to have American correspondent banks, especially for transactions in dollars, in order to be able to operate.

“O Cyprus we need the dollar to be able to pay for example the oil market, which is priced in dollars” and thus the Cypriot banks are forced to apply these sanctions so that the American banks also feel comfortable, he concluded.

Source: www.kathimerini.com.cy

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