Banks to target big borrowers first according to Bank of Cyprus chairman Christis Hassapis
Hassapis who described the proposed bill on Non-Performing-Loans “All countries in the world must have effective legislation. There are many borrowers who strategically do not pay,” he said. “The legislation will force them to come and pay.”
Current legislation in Cyprus makes it next to impossible for banks to repossess mortgaged properties. Procedures are way too slow often taking over 10 years.
The proposed legislation speeds up the process mainly by removing the land registry from the picture and allowing private auctions. This has raised concerns among opposition parties who warned they will reject the bill if it was not improved.
Hassapis said his bank’s priority would be to restructure all viable loans; “Rest assured that Bank of Cyprus will only move to foreclose only after exhausting all means at its disposal”. He said it was logical that lenders would go after large borrowers first before moving onto smaller ones. “BoC’s intention is to look at large borrowers first. Small borrowers have nothing to fear,” he added. “We will start with the millionaires and work our way down.