Bank fund lost shirt on bourse

A judicial probe has been launched into allegations that the board of the General Bank lost 34 million euros belonging to its employees’ auxiliary pension fund by playing the stock market. This follows a suit filed by a newly elected member of the board, unionist M. Pilos and the alleged irregularity concerns the year 2001. This is the first such case to come to light and could jeopardize auxiliary pensions and cash payouts of employees of the bank if, for some reason, the number of people retiring grows at a greater rate than usual. According to the allegations, the amount of money lost on the exchange, close to 34 million euros, constitutes 55 percent of the fund’s current assets, or 90 percent of its reserves. The auxiliary fund’s board is elected by employees in a nationwide ballot. According to Pilos, the board did not ask for permission from the General Assembly for the purchase of such a large number of shares. The only such decision by the General Assembly concerned the purchase of up to 5 percent of General Bank’s shares and a small amount of others, to a total of 590,000 euros (200 million drachmas).

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