ECONOMY

NBG announces its new structure

Merging Greek banks National and Alpha detailed their new corporate structure yesterday, one that will include five specialized business units, a corporate center and several committees. Three additional committees (Support and Coordination, Personnel and Organization and IT) have been established to effectively tackle the specific task of the integration, the banks’ joint statement said. National and Alpha, Greece’s two largest banks, announced their merger, through a share swap deal, last month. National Bank of Greece Governor Theodoros Karatzas will become executive chairman of the new National Bank of Greece and Alpha Bank Chairman Yiannis Costopoulos, governor. Karatzas and Costopoulos will jointly preside over the new bank’s board of directors and executive committee. The merger will legally be completed in the first half of 2002, but it will not be fully operational until 2004. The five business units (BUs) to be established are Investment Banking, under Alpha’s Constantinos Kyriakopoulos, Domestic Network, under Alpha’s Dimitrios Mantzounis, Operations, under National’s Theodoros Pantalakis, International and Retail Banking, under National’s Apostolos Tamvakakis, and Corporate Banking, under National’s Andreas Vranas. The corporate center will support the executive chairman, the governor and the executive committee in running the new bank. It will also ensure that the BUs operate in a coordinated and effective way, the banks said. Monokroussos said that overall consumer spending this year is expected to remain resilient despite slackening growth towards the end of the year, one principal reason being the continual credit boom. Figures compiled by the Bank of Greece showed an 8.7-percent increase in credit expansion in the first nine months of the year, underlining the strong growth brought on by falling interest rates and the ongoing war in the mortgage market.