Bank of Cyprus fined €18m over credit card competition concerns

Bank of Cyprus, the only eurozone bank to forcibly bail in depositors during the financial crisis, has been fined €18m by the island’s competition regulator for abusing its dominant market position in the credit cards.

The bank, which was restructured as part of the €10bn international rescue of the Cypriot banking sector in 2013, said in a statement on Wednesday it would appeal the fine “through all available court processes”.

The Cyprus Commission for the Protection of Competition announced the fine on May 22.

The bank said in the statement :

The fine arises from complaints filed in 2010 relating to the Bank’s alleged abuse of its dominant market position in its cards business.

The lender said it would reflect the fine “appropriately in its financial results for the quarter ended 31 March 2017″ but added it did not intend “at this stage” to adjust its guidance.

The bank which moved its listing from Athens to London in January, was the only eurozone lender to forcibly bail in depositors to avoid outright collapse.

It has racked up losses of €6.3bn since 2010. But in March it reported a pre-tax profit of €139m for last year, against a loss of €391m in 2015. This was the first annual profit since 2010.

The lender said it had now achieved 7 consecutive quarters of loan improvement.

A 2014 recapitalisation at Bank of Cyprus was backed by Wilbur Ross, now US commerce secretary under President Donald Trump, who at the time was a director of the bank.

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