Thursday, August 1, 2013

Bank of Cyprus Raids Depositor's Accounts; Time to Sell Off the Coin Collection and End any Subsidies to Archaeological Interest Groups?

The Bank of Cyprus has raided its own depositor's money to stay afloat, taking 47.5% of deposits over 100,000 Euros.  The depositors are thus paying for the sins of their bankers, who stand accused of many of the same foibles as some of their American counterparts.

Ancient coin collectors may recall the the bank was a player in the controversial decision to impose import restrictions on coins "of Cypriot type."  Its cultural foundation supported that request, which has made it much more difficult for American collectors to compete with the bank for the same ancient  coins on the open market.  The bank appears to have also offered support for the Cyprus American Archaeological Research Institute.  CAARI  actively lobbied the State Department for the import ban, presumably using the considerable connections of Clay Constantinou, a CAARI trustee, campaign funds bundler, former ambassador, and lobbyist to convince the State Department to ignore the recommendations of the Cultural Property Advisory Committee to retain a longstanding exemption for coins.

Now, however, the bank should be concentrating on survival, not on coin collecting or supporting archaeological groups that lobby against the interests of collectors.  Perhaps then, its time to sell off its cultural foundation's coin collection, end any funding for CAARI and give the bank's battered depositors a break. 


Wayne G. Sayles said...

Do you suppose the Bank of Cyprus would have any trouble getting export permits?

Cultural Property Observer said...

Piece of cake for the connected ones at the bank, particularly compared to suh a bail out plan.

kyri said...

i have bank of cyprus accounts both in uk and cyprus and i know from first hand experience how hard it was to do business with we are hearing about 20+ million loans hear and there with the bank losing fortunes,as well as the billions lost gambling on greek bonds.personally as a depositor i would rather keep the islands cultural property in cyprus and start prosecuting the sure that if their assets were siezd it would help ease the pain of most depositors, more than selling the family silver.i never thought that coins should be in mou,s personally but there are certainly thousands of cypriot coins allready on the market to satisfy demand.

Cultural Property Observer said...

Kyri- My condolences. I would hope this tax does not extend to accounts in the UK and you are under the threshold in Cyprus itself. As to the coins, I guess this would be considered a minor annoyance in comparison, but the restrictions have been applied to all imports into the US, if it was just coins directly from Cyprus, that would be acceptable. It really hurts Cypriot Americans who do collect these coins the worst.