National Bank of Georgia (NBG) has put JSC InvestBank under temporary administration for a two-month period, citing unspecified “serious irregularities” in bank’s operations.
Citing “confidentiality”, the central bank and InvestBank have declined to discuss details of these “irregularities”.
According to the June 2013 report in the Wall Street Journal, three Iranian nationals gained control of the InvestBank in 2011 through Liechtenstein-based KSN Foundation, which owns bank’s 70%; according to the same report the U.S. Treasury was investigating the bank on concerns it could be used to bypass U.S. sanctions on Iranian banks.
Asked about what kind of irregularities caused the central bank to place InvestBank under temporary administration, President of the National Bank of Georgia Giorgi Kadagidze said: “I cannot speak about nature of these irregularities as it represents confidential information at this stage.”
“We cannot and will not allow casting even a slight shadow on confidence and stability enjoyed by the Georgian banking sector,” he said. “In this context I want to inform you that a team of inspectors have found out number of irregularities in the JSC InvestBank. Based on seriousness of these irregularities we have decided to appoint a temporary administrator.”
“Temporary administrator continues cooperation with shareholders. If our requirements are met in the nearest future, the temporary administration will withdraw from the bank,” he added.
Giorgi Gzirishvili, general director of InvestBank, said that a routine inspection revealed “certain irregularities”, which led to appointment of temporary administration by the central bank. He said it will not affect bank’s daily work and service to its clients.
He declined to discuss details of irregularities, citing “confidentiality”. Asked if it was related to report by the Wall Street Journal, Gzirishvili responded: “I can’t tell you.”