Financial Regulator Seeks Removal of Krediidipank Exec ({{commentsTotal}})

Source: Photo: Postimees/Scanpix

The chairman of Krediidipank's supervisory board, Andrus Kluge, is disputing the Financial Supervision Authority's attempt to remove him from his post and ban him from working as a banker in the EU.

The precept, made earlier this month, is the latest in a complicated power struggle at Krediidipank, where the Bank of Moscow is a majority shareholder, reported Postimees.

According to the oversight agency, Kluge failed to report to authorities when his company purchased and quickly resold 16 percent of the bank's shares in 2011. Officials have reportedly also questioned the legitimacy of the source of Kluge's financing used to make the transaction.

But Kluge, who was previously the head of the bank and currently holds 4 percent of shares, has accused the Financial Supervision Authority of being manipulated by the Bank of Moscow - claiming that the two lawyers representing the Russian bank and the regulator are close friends - after Kluge and supporters resisted the majority shareholder's rise to prominence.

Kluge says the Bank of Moscow's role as majority shareholder is not legitimate, with a long list of accusations: that it illegally tried to find out who Krediidipank's clients were; that it hired a jailed former Estonian security official to threaten bank employees; that it used the FSB to force two Russian citizens to sell off their shares in Krediidipank; and that it had not met the legal requirements to become majority shareholder.

"The Bank of Moscow has repeatedly violated Estonian law. The Financial Supervision Authority has not reacted to this or protected the interests of Krediidipank's minority shareholders," Kluge told Postimees.

The matter is complicated by a row in which the current executives of the Bank of Moscow allege that hundreds of millions of euros went missing during the time of the previous CEO, Andrei Borodin, who fled to London amid embezzlement charges. Sources have claimed there is a connection between Kluge and Borodin.

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