Checks of creditors of the liquidated ABLV Bank are planned to be completed until the end of next year, whereas the money owed to them is planned to be returned until the end of 2022, the bank’s liquidator Andris Kovalcuks has announced.
He said that more than 14,000 of the bank’s former clients had fully recovered their deposits until the end of June. Nevertheless, there are still more than 3,000 of the bank’s largest depositors to deal with.
“We are working hard to finish all checks until the end of 2021 and settle accounts with all creditors until the end of 2022. Of course, there is also a disclaimer that there are terms that depend on our efforts. Matters that will end up in court are outside our control. Nevertheless, all creditors that pass our checks in the first phase of freezing funds, if it happens, and answer questions that do not have answers at the moment will receive their money by the end of 2022,” said Kovalcuks.
He added the bank had sufficient assets, as the financial institution was basically in the final stages of the recovery process.
“More than 80% of the necessary assets have been recovered and the money is stored in the Bank of Latvia. We can see it is possible to recover the remaining portion until the end of 2022,” said Kovalcuks.
At the same time, the bank’s liquidator admitted the beginning of ABLV Bank’s liquidation process was slower than anticipated in March 2018, when plans were being made.
“We are almost a year behind of the initial plan. This is mainly related to the fact it was necessary to form and coordinate a methodology for checks. We’ve made more than 1,000 corrections. Putting the process into action took more time than initially planned. We have overcome difficulties and we are looking at a five-year term to return money to all creditors. This seems doable. Only the distribution of tasks across years has changed. In it we are behind the initially approved schedule,” said Kovalcuks.
He adds the rate of work taken on by both liquidators and consultants suggests all checks will have been completed by the end of next year.
“This means we might stay within the initially approved time-frame in spite of many unexpected turns along the way,” said Kovalcuks.
He said the volume of information available for each client was highly important in the check.
“If we print out all the information necessary for each major client, it needs to be evaluated and conclusions have to be made. This means sifting through hundreds of pages. The volume of information is very large. This includes considerable time consumption. Of course all this is largely influenced by each client’s reaction speed. During the information evaluation process we’ve had questions for clients regarding clarification issues. If responses are received quickly, the process becomes quicker. If responses are unclear, the process becomes slow,” explains Kovalcuks.
When asked how large the ratio of non-cooperating depositors was, Kovalcuks said it was too soon to say, as the process was not over.
“Only once the liquidation process is over will we be able to compile results as to how many of the bank’s clients cooperate and how many do not. These affairs cover a very old period of time. There is a possibility the requested documents are no longer in the hands of the bank’s clients and there is an objective reason for that. Situations differ,” he added.
To ensure maximum protection of customers’ and creditors’ interests and, considering the decision of the European Central Bank regarding commencement of the bank’s liquidation process, ABLV Bank shareholders made the decision at their February 26, 2018 meeting to self-liquidate the bank. Latvian Finance and Capital Market Commission’s council permitted ABLV Bank to commence the self-liquidation process on June 12, 2018. The same day European Central Bank annulled ABLV Bank’s license.
Problems for ABLV Bank started when US Department of Treasury Financial Crimes Enforcement Network announced in February 2018 its plans to establish sanctions against ABLV Bank for money laundering schemes that had assisted with North Korea’s nuclear arms program, as well as illegal activities in Azerbaijan, Russia and Ukraine. (BNN/Business World Magazine)