The former first lady of Russia became a moneylender

Behind the country's largest microfinance offices are the children of oligarchs, scandalous state managers and the ex-wife of the president, the Interlocutor found out.
The debt load of Russians peaked since 2012, the Central Bank said last week. An alarming regulator considers the increase in the number of those who use several types of loans at once. There are more and “bad debts”, payments on which are past due. According to the National Bureau of Credit Histories, all borrowers plunge into the pit, but especially the poorest, with incomes of less than 20 thousand rubles. per month.

All this threatens a credit bubble. Considering also that the real incomes of the population do not grow. One of the reasons for their decline, even with an increase in salaries, the Ministry of Finance called the need to pay interest on loans.

To pay off some debts, people climb into new ones. And more and more often they take money in microloan offices. In terms of growth, the microfinance market has already bypassed consumer lending by banks. To whom are Russians signing up for debt slavery while the government and the Kremlin demonstrate helplessness in the fight against poverty?

By the way

More than a third of clients of microfinance organizations face wage delays, a study by IFC Zaymer showed. Due to microloans, people are forced to cover the emerging “cash gap” in the family budget. And they are getting poorer due to debt interest.

The National Bureau of Credit Histories has calculated which professions pay the largest percentage of their income on previously taken loans. It turned out that the hardest part is for security guards, doctors and social workers. The situation as a whole worsens for all categories: Russians give the “money-lenders" an increasingly significant part of their salary.

Putin, she is Ocheretny, she is Shkrebneva

- The necessity pushed me to the decision to earn the first ruble. It was corny to eat, but there was no money for food. What I just didn’t sell: ice cream, batteries, fish. Later there were vouchers, buying, then pawnshops.

This is how the founder of CarMoney, Anton Zinoviev, spoke about the beginning of his business career. Now he earns already on those who themselves were on the social bottom. His office is one of the leaders in the MFI market. In the summer, CarMoney topped the rating among companies on mortgage loans.

But it was not always so. At the end of 2017, CarMoney was at a loss. Then Zinoviev, together with his partner Konstantin Evdakov, announced the attraction of $ 10 million of investments in exchange for a share in the project. Investors then remained secret, they "chose not to disclose their own names." One of the "business angels" was the ex-wife of Vladimir Putin, established the "Interlocutor."

Legal entity CarMoney - LLC IFC "Karmani" - established by the Cypriot company Carmoney CY LTD. According to the information disclosed by the MFI itself, this offshore owns 100% of Karmani shares. And already in the offshore itself, a share of 7% last year was seized by LLC Meridian. It, in turn, is controlled by Interiorservice LLC, whose sole founder is Lyudmila Aleksandrovna Shkrebneva. This is the ex-wife of the Russian president, who has changed her name several times in her life. In the register database, it appears under a girl’s.

First Lady Becomes Interest

After Shkrebneva became the beneficiary of CarMoney (she is former Putin, she is now Ocheretnaya), things at the startup went uphill. According to the results of the fourth quarter of 2018, the organization for the first time remained in positive territory, and in the first half of 2019 it reached a record profit. Over the year, the company's microcredit portfolio grew by 30%: now Russians owe the former first lady 2.6 billion rubles.

Ex-Putin is not the only new shareholder of Carmoney CY. Her companion - the former carrier of the presidential motorcade Konstantin Vartanov, recognized the "Interlocutor". Vartanov was the general director of the State Air Company 224th Flight Detachment OJSC. He was engaged in the transportation of motorcade for the first persons of the country. If Vladimir Putin flew off somewhere on an official visit, a special squadron transported cars - both him and the guards.

Vartanov has been featured in a recent corruption scandal. During the investigation of the criminal case, it turned out that the "224th Flight Detachment" repeatedly overestimated the price of transportation, money was stolen. Deputy General Director Dmitry Novitsky was arrested, and Vartanov, apparently, had free money, which he invested in CarMoney.

Another beneficiary of the microcredit office is Sitnikov Sergey Vitalievich. This is the name of the owner of the Russian Financial Traditions Bank, from which the Central Bank revoked the license for laundering proceeds from crime. After which Sitnikov, avoiding the attention of law enforcement agencies, received a residence permit in Estonia.

In such a criminal company, co-owners of MFIs turned out to be Putin's ex-wife. Of course, it was not without partners among large state contractors. For example, Igor Tuzhilin became a shareholder of the Cyprus offshore. A person with such a name owns the Auto-Belogorye and Sinegorye-Avto firms, which have earned over 1 billion rubles on public procurement. They supply buses to regional administrations across the country.

Through CMIP partners LTD, Sergey Prilepsky also owns a stake in CarMoney. This is the name of the CEO and founder of Akmetron JSC. This organization earned half a billion in the supply of devices, mainly for the Russian Space Systems.

Numeral

According to the Central Bank, 39.5 million people have open loans. This is 54% of the country's working population.

Billionaire by birth

The absolute leader among Russian MFIs is MigCredit. This company is also controlled through the Cyprus offshore Migcredit Holdings, the main owner of which is 22-year-old Nikolai Mamut, the son of one of the richest people in Russia, Alexander Mamut.

Mamut Sr. still belonged to the so-called Yeltsin “family”: a narrow circle consisting of Yeltsin’s daughter Tatyana Dyachenko, her husband Valentin Yumashev, the head of the presidential administration Alexander Voloshin, as well as oligarchs Boris Berezovsky and Roman Abramovich. Today, Forbes estimates his fortune at $ 2.5 billion.

A few years ago, Mamut decided to transfer part of the assets to his children. Shares in Polymetal silver miner and foreign assets of the billionaire were transferred to the trust created for them. Thanks to his father, young Nikolai became the owner of the largest office of microloans.

Mamut Jr. now lives in the United States. While the offspring of an oligarch close to Russian power is enjoying the presidency of Trump, his MigCredit lends to Russians at 358% per annum. It was such a bonded rate that the Mamut MFI proposed to the Interlocutor during an experimental attempt to get a loan. And after my refusal of an unprofitable offer, MigCredit did not relent, calling several times a day with persuasion to "take your money."

At the same time, as follows from the file cabinet of arbitration cases, MigCredit, when concluding credit agreements, also imposes insurance on customers in the amount of 1 thousand rubles, which also accrues interest. For this, Rospotrebnadzor recognized the organization as violating the law.
Also, MigCredit has repeatedly been held accountable for the treatment of debtors. In September, bailiffs reported that they drew up administrative protocols on the company based on complaints from borrowers. People were psychologically pressured, including insulted by phone, sent a huge amount of text and voice messages, distributed personal data ...

In Ufa, MigCredit was punished for the telephone "terrorization" of a kindergarten, an employee of which borrowed money, but could not repay on time. The MFI threatened the borrower with consequences that are not prescribed by law.

Often microfinance offices threaten to take apartments from debtors. Since November 1, they have lost such an opportunity: now it is forbidden to issue microloans to citizens on the security of housing.

At the time, by the way, Alexander Mamut became the owner of an elite apartment of Brezhnev’s granddaughter, taking advantage of her financial difficulties. In the 90s, the daughter of Secretary General Galina began to abuse alcohol, even ended up in a psychiatric hospital. The family began to feel the need, and Galina's daughter Victoria Brezhneva exchanged her mother’s 5-room apartment for a more modest one. And in Brezhnev - for a fee - and drove Mamut. According to "Interlocutor", we are talking about an apartment in the house number 10 in Granatny Lane (previously - Shchuseva street). This is the house of the Central Committee of the CPSU, in which, in addition to the Brezhnevs, Konstantin Chernenko also lived.

Comment

State Duma Deputy Oleg Nilov ("Fair Russia"):

- In the spring, my colleagues and I introduced a bill that limits the work of microfinance organizations. But while he lies motionless. In my opinion, the activities of MFIs should be completely prohibited. So far, the “muzzles” that they are trying to put on them in the form of a ban on pledging apartments and the like do not prevent these moneylenders from digging deeper into the pockets of citizens. It is necessary to limit the interest rate for all types of lending: inflation rate plus one or two percent. Like all over the world.

In August, collectors who threatened a resident of the Kuzbass were fined for psychological pressure on the borrower of IFC Bystrodengi. This microfinance organization, as well as another Turbo-loan, as the Interlocutor found out, is controlled by two brothers: Yuri and Yegor Provkiny. These are the children of ex-senator Igor Provkin, once convicted of rape. For sexual assaults on the girls he picked up on his Lexus, a member of the Federation Council in 2011 escaped with a suspended sentence.

Egor, as indicated on his Facebook page, studied at the elite British schools Gordonstoun and Haileybury. And like his brother Yuri, he graduated from Kingston University in London.

As the Interlocutor established, the shareholder of another large Web-bank MFI, Denis Shafranik, also has British citizenship. He is the son of former Energy Minister Yuri Shafranik. The companion of Shafranik Jr. in this MFI is the former head of the Federal Freight Company and, until recently, adviser to the general director of Russian Railways, Alexey Taicher.

In the microcredit market, there are two more large players controlled by foreigners. These are IFC OTP Finance with owners from Hungary and E Loan (IFC Veritas LLC), whose roots go to Riga to the founder of TWINO Holding Armands Broks.

Quote by Vladimir Putin “A famous grandmother from Dostoevsky is a very modest person compared to our current money-lenders.”

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