Proton Bank under state control

Proton Bank became the first Greek bank to be taken under state control, a Finance ministry announcement said on Monday. A ministry announcement said that Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos accepted a recommendation by the Bank of Greece and signed a decision to place the bank under restructuring. Under the plan, a new "good bank" under the name of New Proton Bank will be formed which will carry all savings deposits and the healthy assets of Proton Bank. The ministry revoked the license of Proton Bank which was placed under liquidation.

The new "good bank" received an operating license from the Bank of Greece and was supported by the restructuring arm of the Savings and Investments Fund, while the Financial Stability Fund provided the necessary capital and is now the sole shareholder of the new bank.

New Proton Bank is fully capitalized with a capital adequacy ratio of 10.6 pct, with access to the Eurosystem through the Bank of Greece.

The ministry announcement said the move was aimed at protecting the public interest and systemic stability in the financial system, fully securing the state's and individuals' deposits along with the smooth operation of the bank.

New Proton Bank is fully relieved of problems of the past, it is fully healthy and continues operations as usual with the aim to sell its shares to private shareholders as soon as possible.

The Financial Stability Fund, in an announcement, said it planned to implement an integrated business plan offering prospectives for the new bank and value to the shareholder.

The Athens Stock Exchange suspended trading of Proton Bank's shares on the market. Stathis Papageorgiou (former chief executive in FBB bank) was appointed head of the board of the bridge bank.

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