Tatfondbank’s collapse: Deceived investors produce inculpatory evidence against Tatarstan ex-PM 

Tatfondbank’s collapse: Deceived investors produce inculpatory evidence against Tatarstan ex-PM
Investors of Tatfondbank believe that Tatarstan Prime Minister Ildar Khalikov knew about the bankruptcy that was being prepared, but exercised criminal inaction Photo: The CrimeRussia

Deceived Tatfondbank and Intekhbank investors gathered signatures for a joint letter to Russian Investigative Committee Chairman Aleksandr Bastrykin at Kazan rally. Clients of the collapsed banks asked for a legal assessment of the Tatarstan Government’s actions, namely those of former Tatarstan PM Ildar Khalikov. In their letter, they provided what they believed to be inculpatory evidence against Tatarstan top officials proving withdrawal of money from Tatfondbank last fall.

For example, the Union of Tatfondbank Victim Clients published documents signed by former Tatarstan PM Ildar Khalikov. The documents contain information on the Tatarstan government offering the Deposit Insurance Agency measures that would allow saving the bank after inspection of Tatfondbank in 2016. Investors insist no actions were taken; the authorities simply played along while waiting for the money to be withdrawn from Tatfondbank. The published documents are a proof former Tatarstan PM Ildar Khalikov – who used to be on the bank Board of Directors – was involved in criminal activities and was personally interested in withdrawal of money from Tatfondbank.

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Deceived investors held a rally

Russian Central Bank’s order

The Russian Central Bank was conducting a scheduled inspection of Tatfondbank’s loan portfolio quality last summer. The Central Bank released results of the inspection last fall. It stated Tatfondbank violated its regulation; the Tatfondbank management loaned to companies that were not going to repay. In other words, the bank did not assess repayment risks and overstated debtors’ financial condition. The Central Bank found out large Tatfondbank debtors were small business companies. Moreover, the same companies loaned more money through third parties for allegedly repaying already existing debts.

There are reasons to believe the Deposit Insurance Agency filed lawsuits to cancel more than 100 of Tatfondbank’s contracts after the bank went bankrupt. The Central Bank was interested in how Tatenergosbyt managed to repay its loan using its own 1.6-billion-ruble ($27.7 million) deposit. There are also question about financial transaction of such companies as Suvar Development, Gosjilfond pri Prezidente RT, Kazan, Timer Bank, and some others. About 50 large Tatarstan companies turned out to be involved in shady transactions. The Deposit Insurance Agency canceled some of them. For example, a transaction involving withdrawal of 109 million rubles ($1.89 million) from the bank account of Ipotechnoe Agentstvo Respubliki Tatarstan for repayment of a debt to the bank, according to the court ruling.

The Central Bank warned Tatfondbank it had to form a 23.5-billion-ruble ($407.9 million) reserve to avoid going bankrupt. The Central Bank made the warning following a Tatfondbank inspection in the fall of 2016. It also pointed out Tatfondbank’s own funds were formed by assets declared improper.   

Khalikov was trying to buy time

As Tatfondbank Chairman of the Board of Directors, Tatarstan PM Ildar Khalikov asked the Central Bank to give him time to "remedy the violations" until January 2017 after the Central Bank’s orders. He promised the necessary money would be found for the reserve. The Central Bank granted Khalikov’s motion and gave him time to comply with the order.

Tatfondbank ended up continuing on the same path, loaning money to the same companies with high repayment risks that were not going to repay. In the fall of 2016, it also loaned money to companies that were a couple of months old. The bank loaned 1.1 billion rubles ($19.1 million) to companies that went bankrupt in December 2016. It did it after the Deposit Insurance Agency’s order.

Tatfondbank continued its policy of withdrawing money from bank accounts for repayment despite Khalikov’s promise. It is worth mentioning that Tatfondbank’s real funds had already been transferred to offshores in December last year.

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Robert Musin is the main defendant in the case of embezzlement from Tatfondbank

As a result, the lack of reserve money grew almost two-fold, amounting to 49 billion rubles ($850.6 million), while Tatfondbank assets value lost 100 billion rubles ($1.73 billion) by December 2, 2016. This information was revealed during the second audit after which Khalikov wrote another letter to the Central Bank asking for more time to "make it right." However, the Central Bank refused to let Tatfondbank representatives restore the bank’s financial stability on their own. A criminal case was opened against Tatfondbank Chairman Robert Musin and PM Ildar Khalikov was dismissed soon after. The latter helped drive the bank towards collapse and withdraw money from it, according to Tatfondbank deceived investors.

Deceived investors are going to present proof of the former PM’s illegal activities to not only Aleksandr Bastrykin but to the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office and Presidential Administration as well. It was also reported the investigators are going to summon Ildar Khalikov for questioning in the framework of Musin’s case soon. It is possible he will end up yet another defendant in the case after that.




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