Monthly Archives: September 2014

What really happened to FBME Card Services?

9 September 2014

The basic facts leading to the suspension of operations at FBME Card Services are well known: Just before 11 pm on 21 July 2014, the Central Bank of Cyprus citing the FinCEN notices of 17 July, invoked the Resolution Decree against the Cyprus branch of FBME. This resulted in the straightjacket ban on all FBME transactions in Cyprus that lasted until, effectively, 2 September, a measure that completely strangled FBME Card Services.

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Update on the FBME Bank Case

18 September 2014

On 17 July, FinCEN announced a Notice of Findings and a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking against FBME Bank. The notices allow for public comments to be submitted to FinCEN by 22 September. The international law firm Hogan Lovells was instructed to engage with FinCEN and they in turn retained anti money laundering (AML) experts at Ernst and Young to carry out a thorough and independent investigation of FBME Bank and its policies and procedures, especially with regard to AML policies, procedures and practices in line with EU regulations, and specifically the latest Central Bank of Cyprus Fourth AML Directive.

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Court Adjourns Hearing on Sale

16 September 2014

Yesterday, the District Court of Nicosia, before which the application of the FBME shareholders for an Interim Order was fixed for hearing, adjourned the process, in view of the fact that the file of the case was put before it only then. It is furthermore noted that the Republic of Cyprus, one of the Respondents in the aforesaid Application, failed to file its opposition in time. Procedural issues were also addressed and as a result the Court has fixed the Application for directions on 29 September 2014. The Central Bank repeated its commitment not to issue any order or make a binding agreement concerning the sales of the Branch, until the judgment is handed down in the interim application.

Is Unequal Treatment Illegal?

10 September 2014

The Central Bank of Cyprus’ Administrator has issued a further statement – click here – reaffirming his decision that some customers of the Cyprus branch of FBME Bank will continue to be able to have access to their money in quantities of up to EUR 10,000 a day. There is nothing new in this but it was good to have it reaffirmed.

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Apologies for Hacked Website

6 September 2014

The authors of this website from FBME Limited take this chance to apologise for the unavailability of the site during the afternoon and evening of 5 September and on the 6th. We’re told that this was due to the site being the target of an attack from ‘another European country’. It seems that we have touched a nerve somewhere; the truth usually does that.

Social media has been alive with rumours. Who or what was behind this denial of service attack may be the subject of an investigation all of its own – it could result in a criminal case under EU law. Whatever the cause, we are pleased to be back on line and able to comment on matters of concern over the unusual behaviour of senior officials in Cyprus.

It is a good opportunity, too, to thank all those here and abroad who have worked hard in defence of our right to free speech.

Positive Start, But Questions Remain

4 September 2014

Owners of FBME Limited have welcomed as a positive first step in the unfreezing of accounts at FBME Bank’s Cyprus branch the measures announced by the Special Administrator on 1 September. These allow some depositors access – highly restricted – to their money in amounts of EUR 10,000 per diem.

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FBME Says Thanks to Groundswell of Supporters

3 September 2014

FBME Limited has sent messages of thanks to those numerous people and organisations that have come out in support of the Bank in its struggle to have lifted the Resolution measures imposed against its Cyprus branch. There is clearly widespread public sentiment that the actions taken by the Central Bank of Cyprus have been precipitous, unjust and highly damaging. There is international disquiet about the actions of the Cypriot banking authorities against a local branch of a foreign bank, when those actions have been taken without consultation with the Home Banking Regulator in Tanzania.