BUSINESS

A third of Greek bank execs set to be shown the door

TAGS: Banking

Greek banks must replace almost a third of their board members by September in a bailout-mandated drive to strengthen corporate governance, bankers with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

Greek banks traditionally have businessmen, union leaders and in some cases politicians on their boards.

But under its third international bailout, Greece agreed to try to “depoliticize” links between government and the banks, boost board-level expertise and improve corporate governance, one banker said.

The country’s HFSF bailout fund hired external consultants to review the boards and they have said that up to 18 directors on the boards of four different banks must be replaced.

“[Banks] should replace about 15 to 18 board members, mainly non-executive, several businessmen and in some cases union [members],” a senior banker with knowledge of the issue told Reuters without providing details.

The first banker confirmed the number. Greece’s big four banks – National, Piraeus, Alpha and Eurobank – have 58 directors in total.

HFSF confirmed that it had sent the consultants’ report to the central bank and the banks but did not give details.

Under the bailout rules, directors must have at least 10 years of banking experience at senior managerial level, and have no prominent position in a political movement or have held a position in government in the last four years.

“There will be a few changes in top bankers,” the senior banker said.

Louka Katseli, president of National, Greece’s second largest bank by market capitalization, could possibly leave, the banker said.

[Reuters]

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