Why did the FSB begin an inspection of Qiwi Bank?

Why did the FSB begin an inspection of Qiwi Bank?

Qiwi Bank shares began to decline due to news of an inspection by the FSB. During the day, the securities of the financial institution, whose license was revoked by the Central Bank last week, fell by more than 6%. This is despite the fact that after Qiwi lost the opportunity to conduct banking activities, its securities fell in price by 60%. Now the fall is due to the fact that the FSB organized a pre-investigation check of the bank for the possible transfer abroad of funds obtained illegally. According to RBC, the events began last week at the request of the Central Bank. As the publication notes, one of the reasons for starting the inspection was the increase in the number of telephone and IT frauds, which were committed, including from the territory of Ukraine.

And, as lawyer Anton Pulyaev notes, this is a standard procedure if the application comes from the Central Bank: “As follows from information from open sources, the application came from the regulator. Apparently, it contained a description of certain illegal acts on the part of bank employees. When such a statement is received, law enforcement agencies are obliged to organize an inspection in accordance with Articles 144, 145 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

The minimum verification period is three days. But it can be extended by the manager up to 10 days. If any documentary checks or forensic examinations are ordered, this period may be extended to 30 days. During this period, law enforcement agencies must conclude either that there are signs of a crime or that there is no evidence of a crime. Accordingly, if during the pre-investigation check the authorities come to the conclusion that there are signs of a crime, then all materials are transferred to the investigative body, where the investigator will already initiate a criminal case. If it is revealed that there are no signs of a crime, then based on the results of the pre-investigation check, a decision is made to refuse to initiate a criminal case.”

One of the co-founders of Qiwi, Sergei Solonin, told RBC that he “sold the Russian business and has not given comments for a long time.” At the end of January, the Qiwi group, which included the bank of the same name, announced the completion of a transaction to sell Russian assets to the Hong Kong company Fusion Factor Fintech Limited for more than 23.5 billion rubles. In this case, the calculations had to take place within four years. However, after the Central Bank revoked the license of Qiwi Bank, the deal was in jeopardy, the group said. However, partner of the GRM legal group Sergei Novikov notes that the sale of assets will take place in any case, because these are the terms of the agreement:

“A very interesting point is that supposedly until the completion of the transaction, the shares of the buying company are pledged to the sellers. And another very important factor: information, which we cannot yet confirm, from experts who analyzed this deal, said that it actually cannot be terminated.

That is, here very interesting questions arise for the people who concluded the transaction, especially from the buyer, because the lack of reference to the factor of force majeure, as well as other conditions of force majeure, raises certain questions about the quality of preparation. That is, either the buyer was assured that everything would be fine, and, accordingly, he concluded a deal on enslaving terms, or the buyer’s team did not calculate something.

This looks very strange. Everyone was well aware of possible claims from the Central Bank and other supervisory authorities against Qiwi Bank; the orders issued repeatedly should also have alerted the buyer in one way or another.”

The Hong Kong company Fusion Factor Fintech Limited is owned by the chief executive officer of the Qiwi group, Andrey Protopopov. and After completing the transaction to purchase Russian assets, he was supposed to leave leadership positions in the foreign division of the company and head the Russian one.

In terms of assets, Qiwi Bank ranked 89th. He had virtually no deposits, since he was mainly engaged in servicing money transfers and electronic wallets. The Deposit Insurance Agency said on Friday that it had paid out almost 900 million rubles. to Qiwi Bank depositors. Against this background, the Central Bank stated that they saw no reason to reorganize the organization. The first deputy chairman of the regulator, Dmitry Tulin, noted that the Central Bank assessed all the risks and was convinced that after the bank’s license was revoked, “nothing terrible will happen.”

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Vladislav Viktorov

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