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UK customers escape bank levy

Around 15,000 savers in the UK arm of stricken Cypriot bank Laiki will see their deposits protected under British rules and will escape the Cyprus banking levy.

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IMF chief Lagarde defends 'credible' Cyprus bailout

Christine Lagarde said the deal provides the basis for restoring trust in the Cypriot banking system. Credit: Niall Carson/PA Wire

IMF managing director Christine Lagarde has defended the Cyprus bailout amid claims the imposed deal leaves the island facing years of economic hardship.

Ms Lagarde said today's agreement provided a "comprehensive and credible plan" to deal with the country's problems.

"It addresses upfront the core problem of the banking system through a clear strategy that ensures debt sustainability and does not excessively burden the Cypriot taxpayer," she said.

"This agreement provides the basis for restoring trust in the banking system, which is key to supporting growth," she added.

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