Cyprus Banks to Re-Open with 35 Armored Cars
After more than a week's closure, the world's biggest security firm G4S will be on hand with 35 armored vehicles when Cypriot banks re-open on Thursday, ready to deliver cash to ATMs and deal with any panic.
"We have whatever it takes," G4S Managing Director John Arghyrou told CNBC.
G4S is preparing for the possible turmoil of a run on the banks once they open, and will provide guards for lenders including Bank of Cyprus and Cyprus Popular Bank.
(Read More: Cyprus to Open Banks)
"We are working 24/7," Arghyrou said. "First of all, we area company with 750 people, island-wide: we have the resources and the capability to service all the needs of the banking sector. We work seven days a week, so whenever the banks need our assistance we provide the assistance."
Reports have claimed G4S is struggling to cope, harking back to the company's failure at the London 2012 Olympics to provide enough security guards. As a result,the British Army had to be drafted in at the 11th hour to help during the Games, and the resulting fallout cost G4S 88 million pounds ($133 million).
(Read More: G4S Fights Back After 'Very Tough' Olympics Fiasco )
However, Arghyrou was at pains to state the firm is ready this time."I think the reports are exaggerated," he retorted. "We feel very confident that we will be able to meet all the needs and requirements of our customers."
Arghyrou added that the firm was working at full capacity, saying the last few weeks had been "as busy as it was when we undertook the Euro changeover from the Cyprus pound to the euro."
Arghyrou said the 750 G4S employees would be helped by the firm's good relationship with the police, and a strong, armored presence.
"We have a fleet of 35 armored vehicles, so the vehicles are escorted either by police or our security staff, and we undertake to provide transportation, from A to B, for any cash movements that may be required," he said.
Arghyrou said he hoped banks would re-open sooner rather than later. "We just hope the banks open soon as we are nearing the end of the month, where people have to be paid," he said. "I think they will open, but even if they don't, we'll just have to see what happens."