Customers of Troubled Bulgarian Corpbank to Sue State for Damages

Business » FINANCE | July 22, 2014, Tuesday // 11:59
Bulgaria: Customers of Troubled Bulgarian Corpbank to Sue State for Damages Corporate Commercial Bank's (KTB) HQ in Sofia, photo by BGNES

Customers of Corporate Commercial Bank (KTB), including natural and legal persons, will sue the state for the crisis at the fourth biggest Bulgarian lender.

An initiative committee has issued a media statement informing that it will make the Bulgarian National Bank (BNB), the prosecution, the investigative authority and the Interior Ministry liable and will seek compensatory damages.

The authors of the media statement say that they are deliberately keeping the names of the claimants secret because they have been already been subjected to threats and pressure, including by prosecutors and investigators.

They emphasize that the matter involves a number of key enterprises in the military industry and their employees, as well as factories in Ruse, Plovdiv, Pleven, Sopot, Lyaskovets, Varna, etc.

The claimants point out that a number of companies have been unable to use their money, kept as a deposit at KTB or paid out via KTB, for a second month in a row.

"We believe that the ones to blame are the state institutions, which acted inadequately or under pressure, or failed to act in some situations, thereby allowing a certain political-economic circle to launch an unprecedented attack against a credit institution" the letter says.

According to the signatories, the contradictory and manipulative announcements about the condition of KTB supplied by BNB, the prosecuting and the investigating authorities and the Interior Ministry contributed to the current crisis.

The signatories to the letter are filing collective action for compensation for damage to natural and legal persons.

The initiative committee has asked a foreign law firm to defend their interests at the international court in Luxembourg.

They will also file collective action with a district court as a court of first instance.

The initiative committee emphasizes that the destabilization of KTB affected entire sectors of the country's economy, with over 15 000 military industry officials and workers directly affected and no less than 150 000 workers in other sectors indirectly affected.

KTB was placed under conservatorship by BNB on June 20 after customers of the bank withdrew more than 1/5 of its total deposits in a week.

The period of special supervision for KTB has been extended by September 21.

An audit at the bank showed that its activities were "incompatible with the law and good banking practices."

KTB's subsidiary Credit Agricole Bulgaria has also been placed under conservatorship.

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Tags: Corporate Commercial Bank, KTB, Bulgarian National Bank, conservatorship, audit, Luxembourg, military industry
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