Published March 16, 2013
NICOSIA, Cyprus – Cyprus' cooperative banks have shut their doors after a rush of depositors anxious to protect their savings following a bailout agreement with international creditors that includes a levy on all the country's bank deposits.
Unlike commercial banks which remain closed on weekends, cooperative banks customarily open for business on Saturday. Word that the €10 billion ($13 billion) rescue package Cyprus agreed with its euro area partners and the International Monetary Fund included a one-off levy on deposits sent many customers scurrying to branches across the island.
The cooperative banks, which represent about a fifth of the island's banking sector, remained open only for about an hour. However, people continued to have access to their funds through ATM machines.