BUSINESS

Banks upset with immunity clause

YIANNIS PAPADOYIANNIS

TAGS: Banking

The credit sector appears particularly concerned about the government’s plan regarding the process for the provision of legal coverage to bank and state officials involved in corporate debt restructurings and settlements, as the final judge will be the finance minister.

The clause the government is preparing provides for the immunity of bank officials to be decided by the minister following a recommendation by the Bank of Greece, which will only be entitled to express its opinion. Worse, it also appears that it will be the government that determines which department of the central bank issues those recommendations.

The above process is seen as completely controlled by the government, which will be able to decide on whether banking officials face charges or not using unclear and subjective criteria. Bank officials warn that unless that clause is changed, there will be no immunity in practice and banks will ultimately avoid making any corporate restructurings whatsoever.

Sources say that the Bank of Greece and the Hellenic Banks Association have sent their proposals to the Ministry of Justice on what the clause should include for the legal framework to be functional and efficient. However, the government appears to have rejected them.
 

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