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Hourican to stay on in Cyprus

Ex RBS investment bank boss u-turn over top job

RBS GogarburnFormer Royal Bank of Scotland investment bank boss John Hourican is to stay on as chief executive of the Bank of Cyprus after agreeing a two-year contract.

Dubliner Mr Hourican joined the bank in November 2013 to help rebuild it following the debt crisis on the island which led to the collapse of the Cypriot banking system.

He resigned in April this year, giving four months notice, and said he was heading back to Ireland where his wife and children are based. He said he wanted to put “more balance” into his life.

The bank has now announced that it has extended his appointment, effective from 1 February.

He ran the investment bank at RBS for almost five years from October 2008 and oversaw the loss of 10,000 staff.

After resigning in the wake of the Libor scandal he waived a bonus worth £4 million.

At Bank of Cyprus he managed to turn a €337m (£237m) loss in the first quarter of 2014 into a €29m profit in the same period this year.  He was named Euromoney magazine’s Global Banker of the Year.

He said in August that the bank, listed on the Cyprus and Athens exchanges, was looking at a possible listing in London. HSBC was appointed to look at options.

In an interview at the time he cast doubt on the prospects for recovering the taxpayers’ stake in RBS.

“The bank is way overvalued and I don’t think it will recover anything like the taxpayers’ money. I think they have destroyed the £45bn the Government injected,” he said.

“There is no earnings power to generate a return. There is no capital going back to shareholders, it is just being used to shrink the bank. They have removed the investment capital. Their capital ratios are too light and they are not well capitalised. The situation is not dangerous because they have been shrinking the bank.”


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