The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) welcomes today’s election of a new supervisory board at Victoriabank, Moldova’s third largest lender. The new board was voted at an extraordinary meeting initiated by the EBRD and other shareholders.
Henry Russell, EBRD Director for Financial Institutions in Moldova, Ukraine, Belarus and Western Balkans, said: “The election of a new supervisory board is a major first step towards restoring corporate governance at this systemically important Moldovan bank. It will help prevent potential abuse and pave the way for a thorough financial assessment.”
Victoriabank’s supervisory board was suspended by a controversial court order in September 2014, creating a situation where shareholders, including the EBRD, had no influence over the lender’s corporate governance.
The seven-member board voted at today’s extraordinary shareholder meeting includes two candidates proposed by the EBRD, Ionuț Pătrăhău and Gavin N. Ryan. Experienced bankers with international exposure, they will act as independent board members in the interests of Victoriabank and all its shareholders.
The new board members will need to be approved by the National Bank of Moldova.
The EBRD, the leading institutional investor in Moldova, invested in Victoriabank in August 1995, alongside the bank’s founders, to support a locally owned, commercially disciplined private bank with high standards of corporate governance and integrity. This goal has been frustrated since June 2006 when the control of Victoriabank’s supervisory board passed to non-transparent shareholders, unacceptable to the EBRD and to other key shareholders.
Earlier this year the EBRD said it was prepared to increase its stake in the bank with the aim of restoring effective corporate governance and ensuring its continued sound financial performance.
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