Business Irish

Tuesday 16 January 2018

AIB not in Hourican's sights as banker leaves Cypiot lender for Dublin

Bank boss John Hourican. Photo: Bloomberg
Bank boss John Hourican. Photo: Bloomberg
Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

Bank of Cyprus chief executive officer John Hourican is not in the running to take over AIB after his surprise resignation from the Cypriot lender yesterday, the Irish Independent understands.

The Dublin-based banker is stepping down from the top job at Bank of Cyprus for personal reasons and return to Ireland, the lender said yesterday.

The Irish-born former Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) executive was appointed in late 2013 to take over Bank of Cyprus following its near-collapse and controversial "bail-in" of depositors.

His name has been linked a number of times to the top job at AIB which the Government here is in the process of filling.

However, the Irish Independent has learned that Mr Hourican did not apply for the AIB role.

He told the 'Financial Times' yesterday that he is not currently in discussions about any new job.

He will work out his four-month notice period at Bank of Cyprus before relocating back to Ireland where his family lives, the bank said yesterday. Mr Hourican was appointed just after the bank was forced to bail in client deposits to recapitalise during the island's financial crisis in 2013.

The bank successfully raised private funds from US and European investors, including former Bank of Ireland director Wilbur Ross, in a capital increase last year.

Bookmaker Paddy Power is offering odds of 7/4 on Mr Hourican being appointed to the AIB post that is being vacated as a result of David Duffy's move to UK lender Clydesdale Bank.

The bookies are offering odds of 4/9 on favourite Bernard Byrne to take the top spot at AIB.

"I have been very proud to be part of the Bank of Cyprus family during this period and to have led this chapter in the bank's rehabilitation.

"It has been an honour to work with so many talented people and to play my part in laying the foundations for a better bank to serve the Cypriot economy into the future," Mr Hourican said in an internal memo to staff yesterday.

The chairman of the Bank of Cyprus, Josef Ackermanm, said: "On behalf of the Board of Directors, I wish to express my thanks and appreciation for the remarkable progress achieved under John Hourican's leadership.

"He leaves behind a strong management team and a bank in a steadily improving financial shape, with restored employee, investor and customer confidence.

"We wish him all the best in his future endeavours and we are looking forward to continuing to work with him in the months ahead."

Irish Independent

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