Conflict between VTB and the Bank of Moscow has flared up to mutual accusations of their heads. At the meeting of the Association of Russian banks, Andrey Kostin made a statement, claiming the Bank of Moscow is on the verge of bankruptcy. It provoked Borodin’s reply who said Kostin “rather has to pay attention to his own bank” and pointed at VTB’s lack of professionalism. He said: “What sort of expertise one might have if he buys a pig in a poke for 100 billion roubles?”
While this agreement takes place virtually, the investigation of a criminal case against the Bank of Moscow continues in reality. The unsecured credit in the sum of 12.76 billion roubles ($ 450 m) was secured by the bank to a firm affiliated with Elena Baturina. Eventually the money turned up in her private bank account.
The Investigative Committee of the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs planned to interrogate Borodin and Akulin. The investigators also were to present Borodin and Akulin with the official paper which brings charges of abuse of power (Article 201 of the Criminal Code of Russian Federation). The paper had been prepared before March, 25. On that day both suspects were summoned but did not come. Besides that their lawyers did not bring any documents to the committee, giving justification for their absence. They did not inform the investigators that Borodin and Akulin had already gone to London.
Despite the fact that the paper were not presented to Borodin and Akulin, on March 30 the investigative department of Moscow police asked court to suspend Borodin and Akulin from their post for the time of investigation. The petition was sent back for «elimination of defects» and due to the absence of the defendants.
Russia’s Ministry of Internal Affairs still hopes to get some explanations from Akulin and Borodin. The ministry wants to have the reasons of their departure to Great Britain and the duration of their foreign trip written down. If they do not give reasons for their departure, they might be put on the federal wanted list and face the trial in absentia over the allocation of unsecured loan in sum of 12.76 million roubles ($ 450 m) which appeared in the private accounts of former Moscow mayor’s wife.
Andrey Borodin has gone to London. His statements are targeted solely against VTB’s management. He keeps silence about all the rest. Although he is a very well-informed person, being the president of the Bank of Moscow since it was founded. His level of awareness makes him a political figure.
Borodin denies claims that he has fled from Russia. He said: “I am not well at the moment but as soon as I recover I will come home. I consider everything that has happened as psychological pressure put on me”. Despite pressure, Borodin has not given in. He is still ready to sell his stake “at the price VTB paid for the city’s stake at minimum”. He is also ready to buy the city’s stake from VTB for the same price.
Reminder: The acquisition of the city’s stake in the Bank of Moscow was secured on February, 22. VTB purchased 46.48% of shares of the bank and the majority equity of Capital Security Group which owns 17.32% of the Bank of Moscow. The price was 103 billion roubles ($ 3.55 billion), the whole bank is estimated 203 billion roubles ($ 7 billion). Andrey Borodin, the President of the Bank, and Lev Allaluev, his deputy, owns 20.36% of the bank. 6.41% belongs to offshore companies, GCM and GCM-Investment. 2.77% belongs to Credit Suisse International. Suleyman Kerimov owns 3.88%. The bank has capitalisation of 179.5 billion roubles ($6.2 billion).