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This Is What It Looks Like to Stop a Bank Run Before It Starts

After two weeks of chaos, Cyprus opens its banks again. But borrowing was tightly controlled.


Cypriots have had a rough couple of weeks. Banks were shuttered two weeks ago; the government has since been forced to accept an EU rescue package of some $10 billion Euro in order to avoid bankruptcy.

The banks reopened today under tight controls to prevent a run on deposits. And while lines stretched around the block, the waiters stayed calm. As Reuters reports:

Bank staff turned up for work early as cash was delivered by armoured trucks, and queues of at least a dozen people formed at branches in the capital, with uniformed security guards on duty.

Below, scenes from the banks today, courtesy of Reuters:

An employee opens a safe inside a Bank of Cyprus branch before it opened in Nicosia March 28, 2013. Cypriots are expected to descend in thousands on banks, which reopen on Thursday, with tight controls imposed on transactions to prevent fleeing depositors from cleaning out the vaults in a catastrophic bank run. (Yannis Behrakis/Reuters)
Depositors wait inside a Laiki Bank branch shortly after it opened in Nicosia. Cypriots queued calmly at banks as they reopened on Thursday under tight controls imposed on transactions to prevent a run on deposits after the government was forced to accept a stringent EU rescue package to avert bankruptcy. (Yannis Behrakis/Reuters)

A customer argues with a security guard at an entrance of a branch of Laiki Bank after the reopening of the bank in Nicosia. (Yorgos Karahalis/Reuters)
Outside a bank in Cyprus. (Yorgos Karahalis/Reuters)


About the Author

  • Amanda Erickson is a former senior associate editor at CityLab.