By Stelios Orphanides
The owners of FBME Bank Ltd as well as its depositors have a June 26 deadline to challenge by cross-appeal, certain parts of proceedings at the Nicosia District Court which last month rejected the application of the Central Bank of Cyprus to appoint a liquidator, the Cyprus News Agency (CNA) reported on Monday.
The CNA citied the three-member court of appeal of the Supreme Court which reviewed the central bank’s request for a speedy process, the CNA reported.
The Central Bank of Cyprus which revoked the licence of FBME’s Cyprus branch and fined it €1.2m for failing to comply with the anti-money laundering law in December 2015, initially placed the Tanzanian lender under administration and subsequently under resolution after US authorities described the lender as a financial institution of primary money laundering concern in July 2014. In April 2016, the central bank also triggered the deposits guarantee scheme to compensate depositors with up to €100,000.
The rejection of the central bank’s request for the appointment of a liquidator by the Nicosia district court last month – on the grounds that it did not serve the public interest – came a week after the Bank of Tanzania, which supervises the mother bank revoked the licence of FBME and appointed a liquidator itself. The Tanzanian liquidator is expected to appear in a Cypriot court on June 20, to request recognition of his appointment by Cypriot authorities.
On Monday, the Paris-based arbitration court of the International Chamber of Commerce began reviewing the application of the owners of FBME against the Republic of Cyprus. The bank’s shareholders who initially demanded €500m in damages citing Cyprus’s failure to protect their investment, have increased their demands in the meantime to €1.5bn.