Cyprus' largest bank lost $3 billion in 2012 before it was involved in country's bailout deal

NICOSIA, Cyprus – Cyprus’ largest bank had racked up after-tax losses of 2.2 billion euros ($3 billion) in 2012, three months before it was swept up in the country’s painful financial rescue deal.

Bank of Cyprus’ financial results released Friday showed that the lender’s core tier 1 ratio — a measure of a bank’s financial health — sank to minus 1.9 per cent by year’s end, far below the EU-mandated 9 per cent.

The losses were due mainly to a rising number of bad loans.

Cyprus’ bailout deal in March with its eurozone partners and the International Monetary Fund forced uninsured depositors to take huge losses on their savings in the Bank of Cyprus and the smaller Laiki bank, which was wound down and partly absorbed by the larger lender.