Central bank seeks clarifications from Attica Bank over minister’s 100K loan

19 February 2019
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Two top Attica Bank executives – its deputy CEO and managing director – met urgently on Monday with Bank of Greece (BoG) regulators in the wake of fallout from the disclosure that Alternate Health Minister Pavlos Polakis received a consumer loan worth 100,000 euros by taking out a second mortgage on his residence.

Both the leadership of non-systemic Attica Bank, whose main shareholder is now the state-run unified social security fund (EFKA), as well as the outspoken Polakis himself rejected sharp opposition criticism of favoritism.

Criticism mainly targeted the size of the consumer loan, the fact that he was able to use a second mortgage as a guarantee and the speed in which it was issued.

Attica Bank, itself under scrutiny by the Bank of Greece (BoG), fully defended the loan, saying all internal criteria, practices and prerequisites were met, including sufficient guarantees.

A bank press release also said an “ample” number of similar loans, including the size, have been issued in 2018 until today, while adding that systemic banks have issued similar loans to other office-holders.

The Sunday weekly “Proto Thema” broke the story with a front-page article over the weekend.

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