National Bank governor Louka Katseli
Finding new members to staff the governing boards of banks, to replace of those who received a negative assessment based on a recently introduced law, is proving quite difficult, given the conditions candidates must fulfill.
The issue has raised some concern over the law’s criteria, with some criticizing the Hellenic Financial Stability Fund (HFSF) of being too strict in its interpretation of the law’s regulations.
However, bank sources point out that before the HFSF assessed the bank boards it had consulted the country’s creditors, and no objections had arisen at that time.
Given the difficulty there is in finding suitable candidates for the posts, there have been some thoughts in favor of relaxing the selection criteria, even though in the past the creditors had rejected a similar effort by the government because it was seen as aiming at retaining the old board members.
National and Piraeus are already engaged in the process of replacing their governors, Louka Katseli and Michalis Sallas respectively. The Alpha and Eurobank boards were seen to have performed relatively well in the assessment after having already renewed their boards and upgraded their corporate governance institutions.
According to the revised version of the bailout agreement, all changes to bank boards must be finalized by end-September, while August 25 is the deadline for the expression of interest in the position of the new chief executive of the HFSF. Notably, the necessary qualifications for the position include “perfect knowledge of the English language,” while “fluency in Greek will be considered a very significant additional skill.”