Friday October 31, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
18o C
13o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
G4 readies guards as Cypriot banks prepare to open

A British security firm that transports cash for Cypriot banks is working round the clock, sending teams out with police protection to stock bank machines and readying guards for when banks reopen on Thursday.

The world’s largest security firm, G4S, moves cash and will provide guards for Cypriot lenders including Bank of Cyprus and Cyprus Popular Bank, the two biggest, which are to be combined and see large depositors’ accounts frozen under a bailout agreed at the weekend.

Cypriot banks have been shut for more than a week while the government worked out the bailout and will stay closed until Thursday to prevent a run. Meanwhile, Cypriots have been queuing to withdraw cash from automatic teller machines, with limits at some shrinking down to 100 euros a day.

John Arghyrou, managing director of the Cyprus business for G4S, said its 750 employees have been working through the night, going out to replenish cash machines with police guard.

Licensing rules prevented the firm from bringing in extra staff to handle the unprecedented workload.

"Demand is greater than we can provide... We haven’t closed since the crisis started,» he told Reuters. "I’ve never seen anything like it in terms of what is going on from a security perspective. I would say the workload has quadrupled because the whole system has changed."

Arghyrou would not comment on whether more cash has been flown in to replenish the vaults so that banks are ready to open on Thursday, but said he did not expect a bank run.

"People have had time to digest the agreement so maybe there won’t be that scenario whereby people run to the banks to withdraw," he said.

"I don’t see people panicking, I see people worrying about what the next day will hold for them, whether the next day they will have a job. I see people having a lot of questions and waiting for answers."

While the banks have been closed, businesses have been calling on the security company to find places to keep their cash and asking for guards and alarms to protect their assets.

They are also using G4S as an intermediary to bring money from overseas to pay wages and suppliers, and drawing on its systems for shipping cash to provide guarantees for payments abroad, effectively using it as a kind of bank.

The next big test will come on Thursday when 180 G4S guards will be deployed at bank branches to help handle an anticipated surge of customers demanding cash and answers.

Arghyrou said his unarmed teams had been ready to go into action late on Monday night, when a last-minute decision was made to delay the banks’ opening until Thursday.

"The staff will be based outside branches and are there to control queues, if there are any queues," he said. "We will be in contact with the police. Basically it is to make the banking people feel safe and the customers as well."

G4S earns 18 percent of its 7.3 billion pound turnover from its cash transporting business, which is struggling for growth in developed markets. The rest comes from running services like prisons, manned guarding and port protection.

The firm achieved notoriety for admitting just weeks before the start of last year’s London Olympics that it could not provide a promised 10,400 venue guards, hitting its profit and reputation. [Reuters]

ekathimerini.com , Tuesday March 26, 2013 (19:03)  
A year after GD members shot dead, police have no leads
No new Manolada trial, court rules
Greece poised to send reform proposals to troika
Extended summer timetable at museums, sites hailed a success
Power rates soared 60 pct in six years
During the 2008-13 Greek recession, the country endured the steepest domestic electricity rate hikes seen anywhere in the European Union, amounting to a total of 60 percent over the six year...
NBG chairman sees risks to recovery
The chairman of National Bank of Greece warned on Thursday that political, economic and geopolitical risks pose a threat to the country’s recovery. “Unfortunately we made too much noise and ...
Inside Business
BASKETBALL
Obradovic watches Greens thrash his Fenerbahce
The second homecoming of former Panathinaikos coach Zeljko Obradovic, now at Fenerbahce, was not as emotional as last year’s, but it was certainly was the night of an emphatic triumph for th...
SOCCER
Berg returns to add spice to Panathinaikos´s Cup win
The second round of games for the group stage of the Greek Cup produced plenty of interesting games and results in midweek, but it still lags the upset potential that the knock-out stages of...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
The judiciary’s responsibility
The reform efforts over the past few years have begun to bear fruit. Greece has improved its standing in the World Bank’s Doing Business rankings, rising 48 positions from 2010 to 61st place...
COMMENTARY
Time is running out in Afghanistan
Thirteen years after the attacks on the Twin Towers and NATO's entry into the war in Afghanistan, things remain pretty much unchanged: Political instability and insecurity  reign in the Cent...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Obradovic watches Greens thrash his Fenerbahce
2. Berg returns to add spice to Panathinaikos´s Cup win
3. Power rates soared 60 pct in six years
4. NBG chairman sees risks to recovery
5. Greek consumers shift toward money saving
6. IMF could offer know-how in backup plan for Greece
more news
Today
This Week
1. Greek euro dilemma is back as minister predicts volatility
2. Students hijack university senate meeting
3. Clientelism belongs to the past, says Mitsotakis
4. European stocks tumble as banks decline after Enria’s comments
5. Civil servants to be investigated for transferring money abroad
6. Over 1,500 buildings and vehicles damaged in flash floods
Today
This Week
1. Austria’s creative bookkeeping beats Greece on secret debts
2. End of reason, end of humanity
3. Clean bill of health for Greek banks from stress tests
4. Samaras pledges action after flash floods in Athens
5. Eurobank, National Bank restructurings eliminate capital gap
6. Athens flood damage assessed, compensation payments to begin
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.