ANNOUNCEMENT 17 Dec 2011In December 2011, the government of Greece announced a change in private-sector financial support.
NUMBER OF INTERVENTIONS
Letter from the EC to Greece - Brussels 16.05.2012
On 17 December 2011, the Bank of Greece proceeded with the dissolution of T bank. The measure was notified subsequently on 7 March 2012.
T bank is a rebrand of Aspis bank that was established in 1992. In April 2010, Hellenic Postbank took over 32.9 per cent of the share capital of Apsis Bank, and renamed it. Due to the financial crisis and the trouble of the two shareholders, T bank was in a poor economic situation.
Consequently, on 17 December 2011, the Bank of Greece transferred all assets and liabilities to Hellenic Postbank. T bank was put into liquidation. (par. 12 Letter from the EC to Greece - Brussels 16.05.2012) At this point in time, the balanace sheet of T bank accounted for EUR 2.5 billion.
Hellenic Postbank is the sixth biggest Greek domestic bank with a balance sheet of EUR 15 billion. The EC analyses whether the take over by Hellenic implies trade distortions and who actually benefits from this dissolution.
The EC concludes that: "the selective advantage distorts competition by keeping one banking activity alive, allowing it to continue competing on the market. It also affects trade between Member States as several subsidiaries of foreign banking groups are present on the Greek banking market and in direct competition with the banking activity previously operated within the legal entity T Bank". (par. 31)
Hellenic Postbank acquired the package of assets and liabilities of T bank. Even though they offered the highest bid, this should not be considered the market prices, because foreign banks where excluded from the tender procedure. It is therefore very likely that Hellenic paid a lower price for the assets and is therefore the main beneficiary of the measure. (par. 34)
A state measure in the GTA database is assessed solely in terms of the extent to which its implementation affects the extent of discrimination against foreign commercial interests. On this metric, the state aid proposed here is discriminatory.