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Internal memo: Chair says TBC Bank under ‘unprecedented attack’ from state

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Rustavi 2, one of the country’s national broadcasters, released a “confidential letter” that the Chairman of the Supervisory Board of TBC Bank, Mamuka Khazaradze, addressed to his team through the internal communication channels on February 18.

The letter was reportedly sent on the same day when Khazaradze made his first public remarks, following the recent decision by the National Bank of Georgia (NBG) to request stakeholders to remove Khazaradze and his deputy Badri Japaridze from their positions, due to alleged violation of the conflict-of-interest legislation.

While in his public remarks yesterday, Khazaradze struck a conciliatory tone, noting his readiness to seek solutions in dialogue with NBG, the letter to his team provides considerably starker take on the matter.

Khazaradze reportedly speaks of “unprecedented attacks and pressure from the state institutions,” which he believes has been “orchestrated” and aimed to distance him and his deputy from their own business in order to “take control on the bank.”

“We cannot let that happen!” Khazaradze says in the letter, encouraging his team to stand together “to survive.” “The battle won’t be short. It will require persistence and courage,” he further says, calling it “unequal and unfair” battle.

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.

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

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