Islands oppose bank branch closures


A Greek regional authority said it is suspending all cooperation with one of the country’s banks after the lender announced the closure of its branches on three islands.

Earlier this week, Alpha Bank announced it would cease operations at its branches on the islands of Tilos, Leipsoi and Kassos on September 14. The closures would leave the remote islands without a bank.

Speaking to SKAI TV, the mayor of Leipsoi, Fotis Mangos, said the move would greatly inconvenience the island, especially its 700 permanent residents, as they would have to go to Leros even for the simplest banking transaction. He explained, however, that the bank’s ATM would remain on Leipsoi.

In response to the bank’s move, the Regional Authority of the Southern Aegean said it was suspending all cooperation agreements it had with Alpha over the decision, which it said would deprive islands of banking services and force them to take long and expensive trips to other islands to conduct basic transactions.