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Cyprus banks ready to reopen

CYPRUS is gearing up for reopening its banks today by hiring additional security guards.

The board of directors at the two most troubled lenders – Bank of Cyprus and Laiki – have been cleared out and the CEO of Bank of Cyprus has resigned.

The banks have been shut for close to two weeks to prevent a run on the banks in the midst of financial drama.

The country has imposed limits on money transfers, with a maximum withdrawal limit of €300.

The banks are being restructured and big depositors face losses of as much as 40pc.

Under the deal clinched in Brussels early on Monday, Cyprus agreed to slash its oversized banking sector and inflict hefty losses on large Laiki and Bank of Cyprus depositors.

Laiki is to be restructured, with its healthy assets going into a 'good bank' and its non-performing loans and toxic assets going into a 'bad bank', officials said. The healthy side will be absorbed into the Bank of Cyprus.

It will also see the country shift from being an international financial services centre, which is expected to cost jobs, adding to the 14pc unemployment rate.

The Bank of Cyprus CEO Yiannis Kypri said that it was "difficult times for everyone".

"The Bank of Cyprus was and must remain the basic support of the economy and our society in the effort to deal with the crisis our country is going through," Kypri said.