Bank of Cyprus, the island's largest lender, Thursday posted a pre-tax loss of 438 million euros for 2015 after having increased provisions for bad loans as instructed by the EU. "Due to the elevated provisions for the quarter, the Group reported a loss after tax of 438 million ($483 million) for the year," Bank of Cyprus CEO John Patrick Hourican said in a statement.
"Nevertheless, the Group continues to have a strong capital position ... The Group does not expect to need to raise capital to complete its journey back to strength," he said. Bank of Cyprus (BoC) said it had reduced emergency liquidity assistance (ELA) in the fourth quarter to 3.5 billion euros, almost 8 billion lower than the peak of 11.4 billion in April 2013.
"The Group continues to make good progress against its strategic objectives," said Hourican. In March 2013, Cyprus clinched a 10-billion-euro ($13 billion at the time) loan from the European Union and International Monetary Fund to bail out its troubled economy and bloated banking system. Under the deal, the government was required to close the island's second-largest bank, Laiki, and impose a 47.5 percent "haircut" on deposits above 100,000 euros at BoC. The bank has since undergone major restructuring, which included absorbing the good assets of the former Laiki Bank. Group customer deposits totalled EUR14.18 billion at the end of 2015, an increase of 12 percent over the year, said the bank.