The National Securities and Stock Market Committee (NSSMC) didn’t annul the license of the Russian bank Alfa Bank (Ukraine) thereby breaching the law. NSSMC Chairman Tymur Khromayev is closely related to this financial institution. He has his savings in this bank and also buys Domestic Government Loan Bonds (DGLB) from them.
As early as July 2015, five Russian banks got their licenses on some stock market activities annulled by NSSMC.
These banks were VTB (Ukraine), BM Bank, Sberbank of Russia (Ukraine), VS Bank and Prominvestbank. The annulation was based ‘on the documented facts conforming that the control (decisive influence) over the banks was exerted by foreign officials from the states that led armed aggression against Ukraine’.
Alfa Bank (Ukraine) dodged sanctions imposed by the Committee, despite the fact that the bank was also controlled by Russian citizens.
NSSMC explained such a situation in the following way:
"It is defined by the Law of Ukraine on Licensing of Economic Activities that a license on any economic activity can be annulled upon a report documenting facts conforming that the control (decisive influence) over the banks is exerted by foreign officials from states that lead armed aggression against Ukraine’.
Having considered documents provided by Alfa Bank, NSSMC didn’t find individuals that exerted control or decisive influence over the bank activity in Ukraine’ – the Committee Press Office reported.
As at March 8, 2015 principal owners of Alfa Bank (Ukraine) were Mikhail Fridman (36.47% of shares), German Khan (23.27% of shares), Alexey Kuzmichev (18.12% of shares), Petr Aven (13.76% of shares), Andrey Kosogov (4.08% of shares) and the Mark Foundation for Cancer Research (4.3% of shares). These data were published on the website of the National Bank of Ukraine.
As at January 1, 2019 shares of the principal shareholders looked a bit different. However, the names remained the same: Mikhail Fridman (29.62% of shares), German Khan (18.89% of shares), Alexey Kuzmichev (14.7% of shares), Petr Aven (11.17% of shares) and Andrey Kosogov (3.31% of shares).
It’s said on the website of the National Bank of Ukraine that Mikhail Fridman and German Khan are citizens of Israel and Alexey Kuzmichev, Petr Aven and Andrey Kosogov are Russian citizens.
However, it is stated on the website of Moscow Alfa Bank that Mikhail Fridman and German Khan have Russian citizenship in addition to that of Israel.
These guys were Russian citizens in 2015 as well and this information is indicated on the websites of both Russian Alfa Bank and the Central Bank of the Russian Federation.
So why was this fact omitted by the National Securities and Stock Market Committee and the National Bank of Ukraine?
There are two versions to explain that:
Version 1. The officials had no clue how to use internet and had no desire to check the documents of the licensees.
Version 2. The officials had financial interest in preserving the license of Alfa Bank in Ukraine.
According to the declaration for 2017, Tymur Khromayev, Head of the National Securities and Stock Market Committee, had a deposit of 1,772,158 UAH in his account at Alfa Bank. His wife Mariya Yefrosinina had 256,900 USD and 370 259 UAH deposited in her account at that bank as well.
In 2017 Mrs. Yefrosinina and Mr. Khromayev got 362,365 UAH and 272,125 UAH respectively as interests from Alfa Bank.
On October 8, 2018 Mr. Khromayev purchased 65 government bonds from Alfa Bank. Their value was 1,806,812 UAH but he paid 1,812,513 UAH. Based on the price, he bought DGLBs that nominated in USD.
If the Committee had annulled the license of Alfa Bank, the official couldn’t have bought bonds from that bank.
Being a member of NSSMC, Oleksandr Panchenko holds his accounts at Alfa Bank as well. Based on his declaration for 2017 he has 633,870 EUR, 299,416 USD and 2947 UAH in his Alfa Bank accounts. There is also a deposit of 143,329 USD and 1,141 UAH in the Alfa Bank account of Tetiana Panchenko who is Mr. Panchenko’s wife.
Ukrsotsbank is another bank that had to be deprived of its license by NSSMC. The bank is included in Alfa Group and its shareholders are those same Mikhail Fridman (32.86% of shares), German Khan (20.96% of shares), Alexey Kuzmichev (16.32% of shares) and Petr Aven (12.40% of shares).
NSSMC Member Dmytro Tarabakin holds his savings in Ukrsotsbank Bank accounts too. The amount of his funds there reached 179,262 USD and 2,993 EUR according to his declaration for 2017.