CYPRUS: BoC’s Hourican steps down for UK post after job done

Bank of Cyprus has told the London Stock Exchange that its high-profile CEO John Patrick Hourican is to step down in September after working a six-month notice.

The island’s best paid banker will take on a UK opportunity returning to the country’s corporate scene after a six-year absence and navigating his troubled bank to safer waters.

The Board of Directors is to begin the process of finding a suitable candidate to replace Hourican, who joined BoC in 2013, when the bank had found itself in deep financial trouble because of toxic loans and the haircut on deposits.

During the bailout crisis, depositors saw the absorption of Laiki Bank, taking on the collapsed bank’s clients who saw almost half of their uninsured deposits turned into equity.

BoC thanked Hourican for his contribution noting that he has guided the bank’s restructuring, its recapitalisation, a restoration of confidence, and has been instrumental in developing appropriate strategies for dealing with the challenge of coping with large nonperforming exposures, shrinking the Bank to strength, and developing a strong senior executive team that will guide the Bank in the period ahead.

Chairman Josef Ackermann said: I want to express mine and the Boards’ sincere thanks to John for playing such a pivotal role in the Group’s repair and for devoting nearly six years in leading the Bank of Cyprus Group.

John remains committed to leave behind a strong management team and a Bank in a steadily improving financial shape, with restored customer confidence. We will continue to work closely with him in the months ahead, also ensuring a smooth transition to the new leadership.

Hourican’s contract was renewed last year until the end of 2020.

He cited family matters as a key reason for his departure andsaid the bank’s strong balance sheet is a good moment to consider his succession..

According to Sky News, Hourican is to be named chief executive of NewDay, a consumer finance provider which runs co-branded credit cards with retail giants? including Amazon, Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia Group, Debenhams and the tour operator Tui Travel.

The Dubliner CEO of the Bank of Cyprus, was paid Euros 2.1 million in 2017, putting him among the best-paid Irish bankers in the world, The Times reported last year.

Hourican, who made his name at Royal Bank of Scotland, enjoyed a 27% rise in salary in 2017. Bank of Cyprus announced a net loss of Euros 104m for 2018.

Source: The Financial Mirror