A ‘bail in’ is seen as the opposite to a ‘bail out’ because rather than a third party such as the government stepping in to help a bank by giving it more capital, the bank’s creditors, those to whom it owes money, agree to write down the debt, or the amount of money the hold with the bank.
In Cyprus those holding over €100,000 in the Bank of Cyprus were forced to spend 37.5% of their account on shares in the struggling bank. Rather than taxpayers footing bill for recapitalising the wayward bank, savers were forced to do so.
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