National Bank of Moldova announces tender to select company due to continue investigations on problem banks

A tender on selecting a firm due to carry out the second phase of the investigations in the case of the three problem banks, that are under special administration, Banca de Economii (Savings Bank) Unibank and Banca Sociala (Social Bank), started today, according to a communique by the National Bank of Moldova (BNM).

BNM demanded bids and sent the task notebook to qualified international firms to carry out an investigation of irregularities and significant transactions, in which the three banks were involved. The central bank has earlier informed that the draft task notebook for selecting the company, due to carry out the second phase of the investigation, was approved by the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.

According to the BNM press release, the final goal of the concerned investigation is to “provide BNM with a clear chronological picture on the persons who checked the dubious transactions, who held control over the banks, who benefited from the investigated transactions, to identify the irregularities and big losses in these banks, as well as to elaborate and implement a strategy of recovering the assets.”

It is anticipated that the bidders will present their bids within a consortium with a well-known international consultancy law firm. On the basis of the already collected information by BNM and the findings of the demanded investigation, the consultancy law firm will have to initiate civil, criminal, inter-governmental measures of enforcing of insolvency mechanism (if necessary), in coordination with BNM, in Moldova and foreign jurisdictions, in order to pursue, hold and recover the assets.

The deadline for presenting the bids is 1 September 2015.

After the government meeting, Prime Minister Valeriu Strelet said that one of the companies would  be juridical and the other one – of investigation.  The period of selecting the consortium is 30 days. It is not clear how long the investigations will last, for the time being.

The final date of completing all the procedures, and respectively, the withdrawal of the licences of the three problem banks has been established 16 October 2015. Under the Kroll investigation, about one billion dollars was purloined from the three banks, and the government issued two state guarantees worth 14.8 billion lei to save them. According to BNM, this is the maximal possible cost for the liquidation of these banks; yet the central bank expects it to be lower.

(Reporter V. Bercu, editor L. Alcaza)

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