Tatfondbank steals 4 billion rubles from depositors
The fraud was exposed on December 15, 2016 after an interim administration in Tatfondbank was appointed.
Tatfondbank fraudulently transferred money belonging to its 2 thousand depositors to a subsidiary investment company TFB-Finance. The funds are not subject to insurance reimbursement.
According to Kommersant, the scheme was carried out between June and October 2016. The bank had tried to persuade its clients with over 1 million rubles to deposit their money into another account with a better rate promising to maintain their insurance coverage. The paperwork looked like deposit agreement renewal. When the deception was revealed, the clients discovered that their funds had been used to purchase Tatfondbank bonds. The deposits had been transferred to securities not covered by insurance. The fraud amounted to about 4 billion rubles.
The criminal scheme was revealed after the Central Bank appointed an interim administration in Tatfondbank on December 15, 2016. Depositors started to get their payments on December 26, but when the people began to apply for insurance reimbursement, they learned they were not the bank’s clients. To date, more than 77% of the insurance indemnity has been paid out, i.e. 35.77 billion rubles. According to experts, the deceived depositors will have to go to court asking to hold the transactions invalid, which is not going to be easy, since the bank simply took advantage of the clients’ financial ignorance and what the clients did they did voluntarily.
The Tatarstan’s Minister of Economy, who is in charge of the Tatfondbank issue, reported that the Ministry was aware of the problem, but there was no solution yet.
A similar scheme had been carried out earlier on VIP-depositors of Trust Bank, who offered their clients to transfer money from their deposits into the securities of an affiliated company. It is said that moving the depositors into ‘other investors’ category could be linked to non-compliance with Central Bank’s restrictions on deposit attraction and volume increase.
We should remind that Tatfondbank first experienced liquidity issues in early December "due to increased demand of deposit early withdrawal given the media’s reports on a possible reorganization and panic in the social networks". The Central Bank appointed an interim administration for six months as the bank was in a precarious financial state and the interests of its creditors and depositors were jeopardized.