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Central Bank carries out spot-check on FBME, second Special Administrator appointed

Central Bank carries out spot-check on FBME, second Special Administrator appointed

The Central Bank of Cyprus announced last week that acting in its capacity as supervisory authority, it conducted an onsite examination at the premises of the Cyprus branch of FBME Bank Ltd and FBME Card Services Ltd. The action involved the temporary suspension of the branch's communications.

The Central Bank also announced that the Resolution Authority in accordance with the provisions of the Resolution of Credit Institutions and Other Laws of 2013-2014, decided to appoint Andrew Andronikou as second Special Administrator at the Cyprus branch of FBME Bank Ltd, which is under resolution.

According to a statement issued by the Bank following the investigation, the Central Bank has appointed a new set of investigators to audit the anti money laundering procedures at the Cyprus Branch of FBME. The advisers appointed by the Central Bank are international law firm DLA Piper, financial investigators Kroll and Cypriot lawyers Georgiades & Pelides.

FBME said that it will extend full cooperation to them in a further effort to clear the Bank of allegations made last July. However, it argued that this action should have been taken when the allegations against the bank were first made, and that much damage to FBME depositors, associated companies, employees and to the Bank itself could perhaps have been avoided.

Since July last year, FBME Limited, on its own behalf, has authorised a forensic accounting investigation by international law firm Hogan Lovells and accounting specialists E&Y (Ernst and Young) USA. The results of this investigation have been presented to the US Department of the Treasury’s FinCEN bureau in several stages between September and December last year. FBME is requested rescission of the FinCEN Notices on the basis of the findings of the US professionals and is continuing to work in full cooperation with the US authorities.

The Central Bank of Cyprus conducted five separate investigations into the same subject carried out by auditors, including PwC, between the summer and the end of last year. No results of these investigations have been made public. This is in addition to the usual annual audit by the Bank’s external auditors K Treppides and Co, and a special investigation carried out in 2013 by KPMG Germany.

The Central Bank is now appointing Andrew Andronikou, a London-based turnaround specialist with UHY Hacker Young chartered accountants, as joint-Special Administrator of the Cyprus branch of FBME Bank following the earlier appointment of Dinos Christofides last July. 

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