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Call to compensate personnel hit by Cyprus bank levy

A British Armed Forces Federation spokesman has called for a compensation package for British service personnel and families affected by the one-off levy on personal bank deposits in Cyprus. Banking services in the Sovereign Base Areas are provided by local banks.

Lines have formed at many ATMs on the island after it emerged that the £10 billion rescue package which Cyprus agreed with the EU included a one-off levy on personal bank deposits.

However, these attempts to reduce the levy's impact by withdrawing cash on Saturday are said to have been in vain.

Lines formed at many ATMs today as people scrambled to pull their money out after word that the £10 billion rescue package Cyprus agreed with its euro area partners and the International Monetary Fund included the unprecedented one-off levy on deposits.

But their attempts to avoid or lessen their tax burden by withdrawing cash appeared to be in vain.

Cypriot bank officials said that depositors can access all their money except the amount set by the levy, and that withdrawing funds today would not reduce anyone's levy.

European officials said that people with less than £100,000 in their accounts will have to pay a one-time tax of 6.75%. Those owning more money will lose 9.9%

News of the levy came as a shock to most people following strict assurances from President Nicos Anastasiades that he would not accept a deal which required depositors to share in the losses.

British Army and RAF personnel are stationed at the Sovereign Base Areas at Akrotiri and Dhekelia.

A BAFF spokesman said that

Personnel stationed on the island and their families have little choice but to use local banks. They have no choice about being in Cyprus in the first place. There is a clear case for the MOD to step in and compensate those who have savings grabbed by this EU levy.

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