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TBC Bank Chair Says Ready to work with NBG

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Chairman of the Supervisory Board of TBC Bank, Mamuka Khazaradze and his deputy Badri Japaridze made their first public remarks on February 18, following the recent decision by the National Bank of Georgia (NBG) to request stakeholders to remove the two from their positions, due to alleged violation of the conflict-of-interest legislation.

TBC Bank, the leading Georgian banking company, is facing criminal investigation over money-laundering allegations involving a USD 17 million transaction that took place in 2008, the Prosecutor’s Office announced earlier in January. However, TBC Bank denies the charges.

In his today’s remarks, Khazaradze stressed that TBC Bank is “a strong financial institution, a strong united team,” who “stand together to achieve ambitious goals,” and that they “respect the state institutions and the law.”

He then underscored that TBC Bank has appealed against all the decisions of the regulatory body concerning the dated transactions, and it is now “waiting for justice” to take its course.

Conciliatory tone

“Nevertheless, we are ready to continue seeking the solution in dialogue with NBG, to avoid the potential negative affect on the country’s investment environment and overall on Georgia’s economy,” Mamuka Khazaradze said.

At the same time, he “categorically denied” any facts of money laundering, and noted that they have provided the relevant agencies with “all the necessary documentation,” which “proves non-existence of such a crime.”

Khazaradze underscored that due to “high public interest” all the documentation has been sent to the international financial institutions, and the bank’s foreign partners as well.

He then expressed readiness to share information over its transaction with legal firms, parliamentary committees, civil society organizations, diplomatic corps, and other interested persons, proposing also to create a “Special commission” involving these entities to study the cae.

Impact on Anaklia Port development

Responding to the journalists’ question on effects of the ongoing developments on Anaklia deep-sea port development, in which TBC Holding is a major shareholder, Khazaradze said the investigation is damaging, but the state is otherwise supportive.

“This expedited investigation launched by the Prosecutors’ office, and the information dumps which ended up on Google and the international press, implying that myself and Badri [Japaridze] are allegedly linked to crime” are certainly damaging, as TBC Holding seeks to conclude financing agreements on Anaklia, Khazaradze said.

“I will make no further comments. On the other hand, the state supports us [regarding Anaklia port]. This worries me a bit, that on one hand there are no delays concerning the project, and on the other, there is this expedited investigation, the official entity is making statements, while the investigation is not yet concluded,” he added.

This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)

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