Piraeus Bank acquired the healthy part of the Greek agricultural bank ATEbank. From 30 July all branches of the former state bank will operate under the supervision of Piraeus. Candidates for the purchase of the agricultural bank were all large financial institutions in Greece, but eventually the race for ATEbank's takeover, was between the National Bank of Greece and Piraeus. The latter won the auction after giving assurances that no lay-offs would follow and all the 5,500 employed in the bank would keep their jobs. Moreover, Piraeus intends to utilize at one hundred per cent the established branch network and will not close any offices in the country.
After the merger, the total assets of Piraeus amount to 75 billion, deposits are 35 billion. It has a presence in nine countries with 17,000 employees in the corporate group, as well as 1,230 branches.
"The decision taken will strengthen the banking system and is consistent with European practices for rescuing banks. The merger was implemented under the current legal system and takes into account the viability of the project, the protection of public interest and the strengthening of the banking system during this critical period for the country", reads a statement from the Greek Financial Stability Fund.
The merger of the two financial institutions is an important step towards consolidation of the Greek banking system, which has to adapt to the conditions of the financial crisis and the limited access to free resources. The decision for the transaction came after the reports from the consultants on the deal, Alvarez & Marsal and Bain, who have studied in detail the Greek financial system, reported To Vima. The government and the Bank of Greece appointed two consulting companies in order to choose the best offer on the market. The "bad" loans and problematic assets of ATEbank will go into the state relief fund, which will undertake the rehabilitation of problem parts or will resort to liquidation.