Lithuania’s Central Bank has promised to assess information regarding Latvian VIA SMS Group working in the country. This decision is a reaction to the statement made by Seimas National Security and Defense Committee member Arvydas Anusauskas that people associated with former Parex Banka owners worked in that company.
“Before issuing the aforementioned association a license for electronic monetary functions, the bank’s supervisory council has performed all the necessary procedures and has studied the information once submitted by the company. At the same time, the council has also turned to other responsible institutions for assistance,” said the Central Bank, promising to evaluate additional information.
Last October Lithuania’s Central Bank issued a license to VIA SMS Group’s Via Payments, which planned to start providing Internet banking services to private persons and companies this autumn.
Opposition party Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats member Anusauskas turned to Lithuania’s Finance Minister and Central Bank on August 14 asking them to explain if VIA SMS Group’s activities had been assessed from a national security standpoint.
It recently became known that VIA SMS Group’s specialized bank FinnQ would soon enter Lithuania’s market. Another of this group’s financial services company – Vialet – will enter the country’s market in autumn.
One of VIA SMS Group companies worked in Lithuania in the past – VIA SMS LT. Last July, however, it was liquidated.
According to Anusauskas, FinnQ manager and board member Deniss Serstjukovs was a member of Parex Banka council and a business partner to Parex Banka co-owner to the son of Valerijs Kargin. In addition, VIA SMS Group council also included Parex Banka co-owner Viktors Krasovicskis’ son Georgijs Krasovicskis. He worked in Parex Banka as the head of development of leasing and factoring services CIS countries.
“Serstjukovs also has ties to Nils Usakovs’ Concord party, which had an official cooperation agreement with Russian president Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party. Parex Banka was also involved with Russian Tambov mafia group. The Panama document scandal also revealed Parex Banka’s issued $100 million loan to Russian Verneft manager Zhan Hudainatov. It is believed this loan only sped up the collapse of Parex Banka in the end,” said Anusauskas.
He adds that the company owned by Zhan Hudainatov’s brother Eduards Hudainatov Nezavisimaya Neftegazovaya Kompaniya was applied with sanctions by USA for cooperating with North Korea’s regime.
Serstjukovs had previously said that the bank would provide sale of retail banking products and services. He also mentioned that it was planned to commence operation next year.
Last year 50% of VIA SMS Group was owned by Latvian company Financial Investment, 31% by the Serstjukovs and 19% by Georgijs Krasovickis. (BNN/Business World Magazine)