On Wednesday 14th December, Near East Bank held a Christmas Soirée for their expat customers at the Park Palace Hotel in Kyrenia. The Bank had decided this year not to hold the event at their Karaoğlanoğlu Branch and their choice of venue for 2016 was excellent.
We thought about the days long ago in the UK when banking was more personal and you could visit the Branch Manager and join him in his office to discuss your finances etc. Chris recalled a cinema advertisement for a bank where the Bank Manager would step out from the wardrobe, promoting the personal touch. Here in North Cyprus we can still enjoy the personal touch where you are made very welcome and often invited into the Manager’s office and offered tea or coffee and sit and have a chat.
Many of the banks who have expat clientele hold a Christmas Soirée for their customers and we were delighted to receive an invitation from Near East Bank. We arrived at the hotel to be greeted by Naci Karanlık who has now moved on to a new role within the Banking Group and we found a large number of people in a very nice room where there was a vast array of food and drinks to tempt the guests. There were also 2 Turkish Cypriot ladies in traditional dress making fresh pancakes with various fillings.
We spoke with Enver Haskasap from Near East Group who is also associated with the NEU Drift Team and Soner (Sonny) Soybaflı who is a fairly new member of the Bank dealing with Expatriate Customer Service, plus other members of the Bank Group, including Bahar Gűdenoğlu who is now the Manager of the Karaoğlanoğlu Branch. We did not know a lot of the guests but did spot John Wyn Roberts and Nick Vye and one or two other familiar faces.
After speaking with some of the Near East personnel we have met previously and some of the new members we made our way to sample some of the delicious canapés and hot food which had been provided, there were 2 short speeches and then some live background music to enjoy as well.
The Park Palace Hotel is very nice, situated on the outskirts of Kyrenia and within walking distance of the town and it looked very Christmassy with the colourful lights decorating the outside of the building. Nacı told us that one of his staff had been given the task of arranging the event and she had made an excellent job of it, in conjunction with the hotel, with many very nice features.
All in all this was a very pleasant couple of hours and we would like to thank Near East Bank Group for their hospitality.