Center-Invest Bank (57th place in terms of assets in the Interfax-CEA ranking for 2018) stated that it had undergone an informational attack that followed searches in a credit institution. He said this in an open letter addressed to Chairman of the Central Bank Elvira Nabiullina, First Deputy Chairman of the Central Bank Dmitry Tulin, Head of the Central Bank Consumer Rights Protection Service Mikhail Mamut, as well as Rostov Region Governor Vasily Golubev, Plenipotentiary Representative of the Russian President for the Southern Federal District (UFO ) Vladimir Ustinov, Deputy Attorney General Andrei Kikoty and Head of the FSB Department for the Rostov Region Oleg Yuzhakov. The letter was signed by the Board of Directors of the Bank Sergey Smirnov.
On January 31 of this year, the bank conducted a search related to obtaining information on one of the clients, writes Center-Invest. The bank has no relation to the alleged fraudulent actions of the defendants in the case, the investigative and procedural documents are not mentioned, he continues. However, ten days after the search, Center-Invest was subjected to an information attack organized by “a series of network publications and telegram channels”. Information about the search was presented in a distorted form, it contains false information about the financial condition of the bank, in addition, the publications contained “fictional reporting figures, which creates a threat of panic among consumers of banking services”. “The particular concern of the bank is the fact that the publications contain almost identical texts, are posted simultaneously, and the reference goes to law enforcement agencies,” the letter says.
So, on February 14, information was spread about the allegedly hasty departure from Russia of Vasily Vysokov, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Center-Invest. “A completely ordinary planned trip for meetings with investors was presented to a wide circle of readers as an escape. This completely ignores the fact that de. Mr. Vysokov leaves Russia for educational and investment purposes at least six to seven times a year, ”the bank writes.
He pointed out that he has a highly qualified team of managers, the necessary supply of liquidity and is ready to withstand any information attack. “At the same time, we ask you to take measures envisaged by law to prevent illegal actions aimed not only at discrediting the business reputation of Center-Invest Bank, but also at destabilizing the economic basis of the region,” the letter says.
The representative of the Central Bank declined to comment. Vedomosti sent requests to the Prosecutor General’s Office, the FSB, as well as representatives of the Rostov Region Governor and Presidential Envoy to the Southern Federal District.
The fact that Vysokov left Russia in the morning of February 14, citing a source, informed Kommersant-Yug, indicating that the departure was hasty. “Perhaps, the departure was connected with a criminal case on the fact of embezzlement of state funds and a raider seizure by one of the top managers of the Belokalitvinskaya Poultry Farm Bank. Most likely, he wants to monitor this criminal case from abroad, ”suggested the source of the publication. The plane on which the banker was flying was heading to Istanbul, and from there it was planned to dock to Europe, Kommersant-Yug wrote, citing a law enforcement source.
The largest shareholder of Center-Invest is the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), which owns a 17.8% stake in the bank. Vysokov owns 11.1% of the shares of the bank, his wife Tatiana - another 10.9%. Other shareholders of the bank are German investment fund DEG (14.6%), Austrian Raiffeisenbank (3%) and Erste Group Bank (9.1%), Swiss company ResponsAbility Participations (7.9%), Cypriot companies Clairmont Holdings (4.3 %), Rekha Holdings (6.8%), Leo Overseas (2.2%) and FNRF Holdings (1.7%).