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According to Vesti FM the debts of banks will be recovered from their owners

Andrew Ageshin, a partner of ART DE LEX, takes a stand on legal perspectives in recovering money from failed banks.

The money will be recovered from the owners - the deposit insurance agency has decided to redouble their efforts to recover the debt from failed banks. The new initiative presumes not only claims to the top management of banks, but also to their owners. In the material of Sergei Artemov, an economic commentator of Vesti FM, experts discuss the prospects of searching the owners of negligent banks in warm offshore zones in legal and practical terms.

Artemov: In times of the crisis, some banks that received financial support from the Central Bank, gave the money in loans to so-called "related parties" just established by their enterprises. Generally, loans were not returned, but the failed banks now have no resources to return funds to the Central Bank, as well as payments for customers.

Maxim Osadchy, head of the analytical department of the Bank of corporate finance, says that the examples do not need to go far.

Osadchy: This is the Bank of Moscow, where more than half of the reserves were used to finance subsidiaries, and Mezhprombank of Sergei Pugachev, and Petrov-bank, and the bank BTA...

Artemov: Standard form of the claim in such cases is addressed to senior managers of banks. But the DIA intends to go ahead and collect the money from their owners.

However, the property scheme, often formalized for various offshore funds, makes the search of concrete personalities very difficult, said Andrew Ageshin, a partner of the law firm Art de Lex.

Ageshin: It is possible to identify the trust owners, but not in all jurisdictions. Nowadays they are setting up the collaboration with the Republic of Cyprus. They begin to provide information at the request of Cyprus. It is difficult to receive information on beneficiaries in other jurisdictions.

Artemov: Veronica Chekina, an analyst of the fund center, says that the logic of the DIA’s action is clear.

Chekina: In terms of increasing turbulence and deteriorating bank liquidity, the DIA is apprehensive about the increase of the number of failed banks, and the available agency’s resources may not be enough.

Artemov: But we have to prove a causal connection between the actions and orders of the beneficiary banks and the further bankruptcy, continues Veronica Chekina.

Chekina: Final beneficiaries do not have to be experts in the banking sector, but they can shift the responsibility to key stakeholders, and they, in turn, to the top management. In this situation, it is not correct to rest financial responsibility upon beneficiaries.

At the same time, Andrew Ageshin from Art de Lex says that if the DIA and the controller persist, it would be possible to affect the real owners of banks, even with some hidden schemes.

Ageshin: The Deposit Insurance Agency may use circumstantial evidence, i.e. testimonial evidence, it may seek any initiation of criminal case, establishment of facts on which will allow to prove that a particular individual gave binding instructions, as a result of which the bank was driven to bankruptcy. In this case we can speak about the responsibility even of the beneficiary of a trust for which there is no direct evidence that he owns it.

Artemov: In general, experts believe that the effectiveness of the DIA’s intentions will be achieved, if the removal of the covers from the bankrupt banks to them would apply the same tough measures, regardless of their names and brands.

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