Sunday 19 January 2020

Hourican set for stormy stint as new Bank of Cyprus head

John Hourican
John Hourican
Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

Dubliner John Hourican has landed what looks set to be among the toughest jobs in European banking, after being named as the new head of Bank of Cyprus.

Bank of Cyrpus was among the lenders that "burned" some depositors earlier this year during the country's banking crisis.

Cypriot banks forced losses on bondholders and uninsured deposit holders – those with savings greater than €100,000 – to finance a recapitalisation of banks this year.

The Cyprus job is the latest international posting for Mr Hourican, who has worked in Hong Kong, the Netherlands and the UK since he trained as an accountant in Dublin.

He is best known as the former head of the markets and international division of RBS, which he led from 2008 until he stepped down this year after the bank had to pay hundreds of millions to settle claims arising from its role in the manipulation of so-called Libor borrowing rates.

Mr Hourican was not implicated directly in the Libor rigging scandal but resigned because he was the ultimate head of the division involved.

He is expected to spend between three and five years with Bank of Cyprus, which needs a radical restructuring following the near collapse of the wider banking system in the country, and because the bank must integrate now the remaining good assets of its second-largest rival Laiki (Popular Bank), which was shut under the terms of Cyprus' EU bailout.

Irish Independent

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