By Stelios Orphanides
The European Central Bank said the Cypriot government should reconsider two proposed legislative amendments aiming at tasking the Central Bank of Cyprus (CBC) with disclosing information to authorities about debtors holding accounts with supervised banks.
“The ECB strongly recommends that further consideration should be given to the designation of the CBC as the information authority for the purposes of the Regulation,” the Frankfurt-based monetary authority said, in an opinion signed by its chairman Mario Draghi on its website. “The ECB considers that the new tasks conferred on the CBC under the draft laws constitute government tasks for the purposes of the monetary financing prohibition”.
“These new tasks are not related to those conferred upon the ECB and the national central banks by the Treaty and the Statute of the European System of Central Banks, are atypical for a central bank as the role of information authority in other member states has been assigned to representatives from the judicial system or ministries of justice,” the ECB continued. It added that the tasks “are performed in the exclusive interest of the government as they are intended to alleviate the work involved in the administration of justice”.
The two proposed amendments, drafted by the justice ministry, concern the law on the CBC and the law on the business of credit institutions.
Should the two amendments become law, then the government would have to compensate the central bank for the cost incurred by the proposed new duties “in order to ensure compliance with the prohibition of monetary financing,” said the ECB.