Newly released audio files of NBU Deputy Head reveal possible collusion

New audio files have been released of alleged conversations between the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) Deputy Head Kateryna Rozhkova and other NBU officials and individuals related to Ukrainian banks. Such individuals include, among others, related parties of Platinum Bank (namely Borys Kaufman, Dmitry Zinkov and Mariya Sveshnikova); Konstantin Waisman, Head of the Management Board of a Ukrainian subsidiary of Russian stated-owned VTB Bank; Igor Bereza, a current head of NBU Financial Monitoring Department and Nataliya Degtayrova, a former a head of the same department. The audio files reveal possible collusion between the NBU officials and Ukrainian banks.  In particular, several audio files refer to the cashing out operations, which presumably took place at Fidobank; lobbying for the abolition of sanctions over BM Bank, another subsidiary of the Russian VTB Bank; and submission of incorrect information to the IMF by the NBU’s Department of Financial Stability.

Furthermore, in the leaked calls Mrs. Rozhkova appears to be discussing inflated value of the collateral granted by Platinum Bank to secure NBU stabilization loans; possible schemes for removal of sanctions placed over VTB Bank, and NBU’s readiness to ignore the bank’s incompliance with the NBU’s regulations; a conversation in advance of the NBU’s inspection of the Platinum Bank and negotiation of its interest payments on the NBU stabilization loans; appointments to the board of the Independent Association of Banks of Ukraine (NABU) of individuals favoured by the NBU.

If the leaked conversations are real, Mrs. Rozhkova and the other implicated individuals may have violated Ukrainian anti-corruption laws. Ukrainian law enforcement officials should investigate these leaks and take necessary actions.