Vozrozhdenie Bank owners took $79.3 million out of it literally in carts

Vozrozhdenie Bank owners took $79.3 million out of it literally in carts
The brothers Ananyev

Three separate sources, familiar with the details of what happened, reported on the operation of cashing their funds in this bank.

The owners of Promsvyazbank, brothers Alexey and Dmitry Ananyevs, after the temporary administration was introduced in the bank, decided to withdraw their funds from the accounts in Vozrozhdenie Bank in cash, Kommersant reports referring to its sources. The amount of withdrawn funds is estimated at approximately 4.5 billion rubles ($79.3m).

The brothers Ananyev own over 52.7% of the shares of Vozrozhdenie Bank. Three separate sources familiar with the details of what happened told the publication about the operation of cashing their funds in this bank. According to one of them, the Ananyevs allegedly withdrew funds overnight into December 28 or 29, 2017. The temporary administration in Promsvyazbank was introduced on December 15. Another source remarks that some of the funds may have been redirected to Vozrozhdenie from Promsvyazbank. One more interviewee said that the money was pulled in dollars and euros, and they were taken out "in carts." All three sources see eye to eye on the fact that such an operation required the replenishment of cash desks and could fly under the radar of the Central Bank.

Vozrozhdenie's 2017 financial statements indicate that the average balance of cash on hand in 12 months was 4.4 billion rubles ($77.6m) at the end of each month, taking into account the funds in rubles and foreign currency. This refers to the data of the entire bank, which has upwards of one hundred branches in Russia, according to the Central Bank. As of year-end 2017, the balance of funds in Vozrozhdenie cash desk has soared to 6.9 billion rubles ($121.8m). The junior director for bank ratings Expert RA Ruslan Korshunov notes that December’s bank report indicates a significant hike in turnover at the cash desk in rubles and foreign currency. Concerning the foreign currency, upsurge totalled about 8.5 billion rubles ($150.1m) in contrast with November.

After Promsvyazbank, in which Alexey and Dmitry Ananyevs owned 50.03% of the shares, was reorganized, the Central Bank actually nullified their shares after the bank's capital was written off to 1 ruble. The regulator also limited their right to manage Vozrozhdenie’s voting shares in the amount of no more than 10% per person. In addition, the brothers received instructions to withdraw from the bank's capital within three months. This transaction is due in the near future.

According to experts, the Central Bank had no reason to stop withdrawing funds from the accounts of the Ananyevs in Vozrozhdenie. This bank does not implement measures to prevent bankruptcy, therefore there are no grounds for recognizing such transactions as invalid. The expert, however, called the withdrawal of such a sum in cash "a very atypical operation."

Alexey Ananyev called reports on the withdrawal of money from Vozrozhdenie nonsense, a representative of the banker told Kommersant. The outlet did not manage to contact Dmitry Ananyev. Promsvyazbank stated that according to the requirements of the bankruptcy law at the end of 2017 all funds were written off from the accounts of the top management and the beneficiaries of the bank. Vozrozhdenie left the request of publication unreplied.

It is noted that the brothers Ananyev strongly disagree with the decision of the Central Bank to introduce the temporary administration in Promsvyazbank and have already filed two suits against the regulator to challenge the bank's reorganization.

Vozrozhdenie Bank's statements indicate that as of January 1, 2018, the volume of individuals' funds in the bank amounted to 161 billion rubles ($2.8bn). The withdrawal of 4.5 billion rubles ($79.5m) could not significantly affect the bank, analysts believe. According to Ruslan Korshunov, almost 25% of the funds raised cover highly liquid assets, hence the bank calmly went through the outflow of several billion rubles.

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