Former Greek bank chief arrested in bad loan inquiry

ATHENS Wed Feb 5, 2014 4:17am EST

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ATHENS (Reuters) - Greek authorities arrested the former chairman of defunct state lender Hellenic Postbank (TT) on Wednesday on charges of money laundering and fraud, police and court officials said.

Greek prosecutors are looking into loans which TT granted in 2007-2012 without proper guarantees and which may have caused the bank losses of 500 million euros ($675 million).

Angelos Filippidis, taken in handcuffs to Athens central police headquarters with a pack of reporters in pursuit, said he had returned voluntarily from Istanbul, where he had been detained on a Greek arrest warrant. He has denied wrongdoing.

Greece's foreign ministry said Turkey had deported the banker. He will appear before a prosecutor later in the day.

Filippidis, who was once president of one of Greece's biggest football clubs, is among 25 people charged in the TT affair. They include Greek businessmen Dimitris Kontominas and Lavrentis Lavrentiadis - who is already in custody pending trial over another banking investigation. Both men deny wrongdoing.

Greece's financial crisis has led to public anger with a political and business elite widely viewed as privileged and corrupt, prompting prosecutors to step up corruption investigations.

Hit by the Greek debt crisis, TT was deemed non-viable by the Central Bank and was wound down last year after efforts to sell it failed. Greece's HFSF bank rescue fund then pumped about 4.5 billion euros into TT, stripped it of its bad loans and sold the rest to Greek lender Eurobank in July as part of a wave of consolidation in the battered banking sector.

(Reporting by George Georgiopoulos and Angeliki Koutantou; Editing by Alistair Lyon)

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Comments (2)
GreekAnalyst wrote:
The Governor of Bank of Greece admitted to the Greek Parliament that his bank literally had “no risk management” on loans.

This issue, although found many years go, was never brought to the banks investors and shareholders, and the fine that the bank got was a petty fine for laughs.

Greece is a country that needs serious help, especially since Goverment – Illegality come together. Europe is closing its eyes to save the euro, literally “assisting” the same guys who destroyed Greece to remain into power, since they are afraid of Political consequences that could happen from from a contry’s much needed “cleansing”.

Feb 06, 2014 5:07pm EST  --  Report as abuse
GreekAnalyst wrote:
The Governor of Bank of Greece admitted to the Greek Parliament that his bank literally had “no risk management” on loans.

This issue, although found many years go, was never brought to the banks investors and shareholders, and the fine that the bank got was a petty fine for laughs.

Greece is a country that needs serious help, especially since Goverment – Illegality come together. Europe is closing its eyes to save the euro, literally “assisting” the same guys who destroyed Greece to remain into power, since they are afraid of Political consequences that could happen from from a contry’s much needed “cleansing”.

Feb 06, 2014 5:07pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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