Fears grow as banks reveal exposure to Cyprus euro crisis

Sunday, March 24, 2013
By Paul Martin

Britain’s largest banks have a combined exposure to Cyprus of more than £1bn, raising the prospect of new losses for the lenders.

By Harry Wilson
24 Mar 2013

Fillings from Barclays, Lloyds Banking Group, HSBC and Royal Bank of Scotland, show a total exposure to the troubled Mediterranean island of £1.06bn.

Although a tiny fraction of their assets, the collapse of the Cypriot economy could see the banks nursing losses of tens or even hundreds of millions of pounds amid the country’s worsening financial crisis.

Barclays has the largest gross exposure to Cyprus, with £431m of lending and other links to Cypriots, including £102m of exposure to the country’s banks, £120m of corporate lending and £44m of residential mortgages.

RBS has the second biggest exposure of £377m, with £274m of corporate lending linked to Cyprus, as well as £15m of personal lending. Crucially, RBS has no exposure to Cypriot banks, though it does have £2m of assets linked to “other financial institutions”.

In its latest annual report RBS told shareholders that its links to Cyprus comprised mainly “lending to special purpose vehicles incorporated in Cyprus, but with assets and cash flows largely elsewhere”.

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