Businessman Ihor Kolomoisky, one of the former stockholders in Ukraine`s No. 1 PrivatBank, has issued a comment on the bank`s recent nationalization.
The comment has been sent to UNIAN and is being published without changes (unofficial translation):
”In this difficult time for the former shareholders, I would like to share a brief comment on the nationalization of PrivatBank, articulated in the three theses.
1. I would like to thank the Cabinet of Ministers and particularly [Prime Minister] Volodymyr Groysman.
As you know, in the wake of the latest wave of panic among clients, provoked primarily by the activity of the NBU [the National Bank of Ukraine], we were forced to come up to the Cabinet with the proposal that PrivatBank should be taken over by the state.
I think that the Prime Minister and his team have shown real courage by taking this difficult decision. If they had not taken this step, this would have jeopardized the entire financial system of Ukraine.
2. PrivatBank has fallen victim to the NBU`s arbitrariness.
PrivatBank had a well-balanced, secured loan portfolio, verified by an international audit. But the NBU, by constantly changing its own regulations, would invented new and different ways to artificially reduce the bank`s capitalization.
Then they began to talk about a mythical gap of UAH 150 billion, 97% of related party loans, about the fact that all the money had been stolen or siphoned off into the tax havens. Yet, these were the figures they received as a result of free changing of the accounting policy.
Good central banks would help banks amid such hardships as an economic crisis, war or occupation. But our regulator has utilized all methods at hand to make PrivatBank go broke. And, unfortunately, they have succeeded.
3. The most important is the thing that the bank`s clients have not been affected by the decision.
No matter how hard and bitter it was, we kept in mind throughout all the negotiations that the most important thing is PrivatBank`s clientele. It`s ridiculous to hear statements alleging that Kolomoisky had been blackmailing, threatening someone with PrivatBank`s collapse. We had been defending our bank to the last, to the very moment until we saw this could pose a threat to the clients. As for the rest, history will put everything in its place.
Well, and to end on a positive note, I will express hope that the new shareholder represented by the state and the new board chaired by Mr. [Oleksandr] Shlapak will comply with the benchmark set by PrivatBank, find common language with all the clients of the bank, maintain and raise its high standards. I hope that the new management will be able not only to mark the bank`s 25th anniversary at a worthy level, but also to lay the foundation for the celebration of its semi-centenary anniversary.
I thank you for your attention.”
As UNIAN reported earlier, former members of the PrvatBank`s board said, while commenting on the nationalization of the biggest bank, that the bank had lost its right to take into account UAH 142.8 billion worth of collateral due to the policies introduced by the NBU. And the state had initiated a number of information attacks, triggering panic among clients.
”The latest attack was provoked by [NBU Governor Valeriya] Gontareva, when she brought together leading bankers and experts for a meeting behind closed doors and told them that PrivatBank could be nationalize, thus, spreading another wave of rumors that the media were happy to pick up on,” they said in a statement
They claim that the phrase ”a gap of 148 billion” has become a clich?, but it happened not because of siphoning off the money, but due to a drastic change in the rules of the game by the NBU, alleging the bank was a target.
In addition, the National Bank of Ukraine has canceled the internationally-acknowledged definition of related entities and started to refer everyone to this category.
See also: President Poroshenko: PrivatBank clients guaranteed safety and integrity of their funds. Video