Patrick Hourican, Ioannis Matsis and Nicholas Hadjiyiannis, Chief Executive Officers of the Bank of Cyprus, the Hellenic Bank and the Co-operative Central Bank, analyzed the challenges and opportunities of the Cyprus Banking System, in a joint lecture-discussion organized by the School of Economics and Management on 25th of April 2017.
In his welcoming message, Professor Andreas Charitou, the Dean of the School, thanked the three speakers for accepting the invitation and participating in the event, made a brief historical reference to the course of the Cypriot Banking System, dividing it into three periods before 2008 which was a prosperous period, from 2008 until the collapse in March 2013 and the subsequent recovery path. He, then, addressed a number of questions to the speakers about the causes of the banking crisis, the current situation and the future of the financial sector, while endorsing the sponsors of the event.
Rector, Professor Constantinos Christofides, argued that non-performing loans are the main problem of banks and the economy in general. Addressing to the speakers, he wondered how banks can overcome this challenge and how citizens' confidence can be regained. He stressed that from now on we ought to think and be active enough, so that in the future we can avoid such situations and, as he said, investing in a new economic model with the principles of innovation and excellence will help to create new opportunities in the banking sector. Finally, said that it is our duty to recognize our weaknesses, to learn from past mistakes, to identify our true strengths and to invest in them.
In their speeches, the three Chief Executive Officers of the banks, having analyzed the challenges and opportunities of the Cypriot Banking System, jointly found that non-performing loans are the biggest burden on the financial system. They also stressed that the banking system in Cyprus had serious weaknesses even before the crisis and noted that despite the signs of improving and developing of the economy, the Cypriot financial system is required to survive despite the weaknesses of the European banking system.
The lecture was well attended by officials, guests and students. At the end of the lecture, a reception took place in the courtyard of the hall.
The main sponsor of the event was CYTA, while the newspaper POLITIS was the communication sponsor.