Last week searches and document seizures were held at BDO company, the auditor of the Bank of Moscow. Some BDO auditors were called in for questioning.
As already mentioned on The Russian Mafia web-site (rumafia.com), a criminal investigation against Andrey Borodin, former management of the Bank of Moscow, and Dmitry Akulinin, former head of the bank’s deputy, in April over abuse of authority under part 1 of article 201 od the Criminal Code. Tver District Court of Moscow satisfied the request of the Ministry of the Interior investigative committee and dismissed the bankers from their posts for the period of the investigation. The investigation concerned a loan of 13 billion rubles, which resulted in personal accounts of Elena Baturina. Now requests were sent to BDO demanding documents for the loan and a number of other transactions of the Bank of Moscow. BDO is not charged with anything yet. "But the investigation will also touch upon the issue of whether there was a collusion between the auditor and the management of the bank", said a source close to the investigation.
Currently, the Bank of Moscow is in a difficult financial position. Bank of Russia, the Deposit Insurance Agency and the Ministry of Finance decided to assist the bank providing 295 billion rubles. In addition, the major shareholder of the bank, VTB, shall make an installment of 100 billion rubles in the bank’s capital. The decision was made due to a sharp deterioration in the quality of its loan portfolio.
Market participants suggest that the auditor could have been well unaware of the real situation in the Bank of Moscow, since it is not conducting a special examination to establish the authenticity of documents provided by management. If a bank wants to deceive the auditor, it can, experts say.