ICC’s Arbitral Tribunal Orders CBC to Permit Access to FBME’s Premises to the Bank’s Owners and Directors

1 August 2016

The Arbitral Tribunal at the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in Paris has ordered the Republic of Cyprus to grant the shareholders and directors of FBME Bank access to the FBME premises in Cyprus. They were excluded on 31 March 2016 at the same time as the Central Bank of Cyprus (CBC) sacked 140 FBME employees in Cyprus.

This order follows an earlier ‘invitation’ issued by the Tribunal.

The banning of the owners from the premises and the mass sacking of FBME staff were carried out by Chris Iacovides, appointed by the CBC as its administrator/agent to run the operations of FBME Bank. This is despite the fact that Mr Iacovides has no experience in banking and is almost permanently absent from the FBME branch premises, though he is being paid from the funds of FBME and its depositors.

Aware of his lack of banking experience the CBC has permitted Mr Iacovides to pursue his other business activities, appointing as his deputy Marios Christodoulides. This move has not much improved the situation with FBME as Mr Christodoulides has no international banking experience, being only a former local branch manager of Hellenic Bank in Limassol and an official of the now defunct Cyprus branch of Emporikibank.

Background

Arbitration has been underway at the ICC since the second half of 2014, dealing with FBME owners’ claims for compensation against the Republic of Cyprus under the terms of the 2003 international agreement between Cyprus and Lebanon that protects investor rights in each other’s country. This treaty was breached by the CBC when it took over FBME’s Cyprus branch and the claims for compensation are set at hundreds of millions of euros.

More information regarding the Arbitration process is available on this website on: http://www.fbmeltd.com/icc-arbitral-tribunal-finds-it-has-jurisdiction-in-arbitration-proceedings-between-fbme-banks-owners-and-the-republic-of-cyprus/