To lend marine Le Pen money Bank Czech Embassy

If you haven’t already

In the First Czech-Russian Bank (FCRB), where the Bank of Russia on March 24 introduced a temporary administration, freezes funds of the Czech Embassy in Russia and the company “Czech airlines” (CSA Czech Airlines), said the Bank’s counterparty. This was confirmed by a source close to the FCRB. “The FCRB is one of the banks of the Embassy, which keeps there the settlement account, the Postings have always been significant,” says the Bank’s counterparty. According to him, the Bank has also historically served by the airline “Czech airlines”.

Since 2002, the owner and client at the same time the FCRB was at that time the largest contractor of “Gazprom” “strojtransgaz”. The counterparty of the Bank says that of Stroytransgaz stayed there account, but a source close to the group of “Stroytransgaz”, claims that the company was served only until 2008 (before controlling her became the owner Gennady Timchenko). “Wrote that the company in the First Czech-Russian Bank accounts, but now there are literally 20 thousand rubles”, — the interlocutor speaks.

Representatives of the Embassy of the Czech Republic and of Stroytransgaz declined to comment, the company “Czech airlines” has not responded to the request .

Both parties note that the owner of the Bank, Roman Popov (directly owns 100% of FCRB and head of the Board) thought, as will happen with his Bank, at the end of last year. “In January, he warned many friends and clients that they took their money, some customers really put the money, but not all,” says a source close to the Bank, adding that the Bank last year started “vacuuming” the market for retail deposits. According to a friend of Popov, he is now in the Czech Republic and “mentally broke up with the Bank”.

From 1 January to 1 March 2016 the amount of funds companies in the accounts of the FCRB was reduced by 17%, to 4.9 billion rubles, follows from the Russian reporting of the FCRB. The Bank almost one and a half times increased the volume of deposits over the last year. In January of this year the Central Bank introduced the FCRB for the restriction on acceptance of deposits for six months, it must end on 22 July, said a source close to the Central Bank. On 1 March the volume of deposits of citizens at the FCRB amounted to 22.5 billion rubles.

In October last year, Moody’s downgraded the ratings of FCRB in national and foreign currency to Caa1 (high credit risk) with B3, and in December withdrew its rating. The downgrade reflected the deterioration of the liquidity situation in the Bank, low quality of the loan portfolio combined with a lack of reserve coverage of problematic loans and the insignificance of capital stocks, noted the analysts of Moody’s.

Who’s not late

On 22 March it became known that the FCRB has imposed restrictions on withdrawal of deposits: take deposits amounting to 100 thousand rubles in the same day, over this amount — on the record, said the employee call center of the Bank. The FCRB has long had problems with carrying out of client payments, said Treasurer of the Bank, the FCRB worked with in the interbank market. March 24, the Central Bank introduced a temporary administration the Bank, assigning its functions to the Agency for Deposit insurance.

In early March, the Czech national Bank announced the introduction of restrictions on the activities of the European Russian Bank (ERB) — Czech “daughter” of the Russian FCRB. The Bank was forbidden to provide loans and place deposits and buy the assets, except with zero risk and “necessary for normal functioning Bank”.

Familiar Popov does not preclude the coherence of Czech and Russian regulators. “The Czech Central Bank was extremely dissatisfied with the fact that the ERB “vacuumed” the Deposit market, offering quite high for Europe rates on deposits”, — says a friend, adding that in the Czech Republic and in Russia, the regulators knew that the FCRB and the Czech “daughter” in raised from depositors funds financed construction projects related to Popov. The maximum rate on deposits in foreign currency / Europe is 2.7%, the information on the website of the Bank.

According to a former top Manager FCRB, Popov invested in the construction of real estate in Sochi, including Olympic venues, “He invested with the expectation of selling them at the Moscow prices, but the investment paid off, many facilities are not completed”.

The FCRB has a long history in the Russian market. It was created in 1996 by the Czech investment and postal Bank, 49% FCRB belonged to a Russian Bank Vozrozhdenie. “Actually the Bank was created to attract investment from abroad for clients’ projects “Renaissance”, one of the main corporate clients of the “Renaissance” was then “Stroytransgaz”, says a former top Manager of the FCRB. Five years after the Czech investment and postal Bank went bankrupt, the FCRB was transferred to the Czech state to credit Agency, and Bank “Revival” came out of the Bank’s capital. Then Stroytransgaz decided that he needed his Bank. “Stroytransgaz has withdrawn its funds from the “Revival” and was served in Gazprombank,” says a former top Manager of the FCRB.

In late 2002, Stroytransgaz entered into the capital of the FCRB and gradually increased its stake in the Bank to 95%. Thanks to the new owner, the Bank moved from the second hundred by assets in the top 50. It then was headed by the native from of Stroytransgaz, Deputy head of the Department of Finance Roman Popov. He later bought out the share of Stroytransgaz — first control packet, and then consolidated 100% of the Bank. He has repeatedly offered to sell the FCRB, among the contenders was the Czech investment group PPF, but he always refused, friend said Popov.

“Popov was close to Timchenko, he actually entrusted him with the Bank,” continues the source, adding that Popov was familiar with many Russian officials and businessmen, as well as gained confidence in Europe, and attended many official events in Prague. In an interview to “Rossiyskaya Gazeta” in December 2014 Popov said that “to us [in Prague] and turn local businessmen with the Russian roots, and the representatives of the Russian subsidiaries operating in the Czech Republic”.

The FCRB is known that has credited the French “national front” headed marine Le Pen. “Natsfronta” at the end of 2014 agreed with the FCRB loan of €9 million, after Le Pen said that French banks are reluctant to lend her party.

With the participation of Alexandra Galaktionova