19 January 2018, Friday, 22:15

Credexbank changes name due to US sanctions


The Belarusian bank, accused by the US Treasury Department of money laundering, has changed its name to InterPayBank.

The new name of the bank appeared on the website of the National Bank of Belarus.

As Interfax-West news agency learnt from a representative of the bank, Russian companies Alyans Ipoteka and Starbank bought Belarusian Credexbank, which was accused of money laundering by the US Treasury Department in May 2012, and renamed it as InterPayBank.

“New shareholders – Russian companies Alyans Ipoteka with a share of 79.8% and Starbank with a share of 19.72% – appeared in the bank in December 2012. Vicpart Holding company doesn't own shares in our bank any more,” the bank representative said. He also noted that new shareholders rename the bank to JSC InterPayBank.

The source declined to comment on the sum of the deal to sell the bank to the Russian investor.

The US Department of the Treasury called the Belarusian bank a “financial institution of primary money laundering concern” under Section 311 of the USA Patriot Act.

The US authorities suspect that small Credexbank (the 22nd largest in total assets among 32 Belarusian banks) was engaged in high volume transactions that, as the US Treasury Department thinks, are indicative of money laundering on behalf of shell corporations. According to the US Department of the Treasury, since at least 2006, the bank “has engaged in patterns of highly questionable financial transactions that are indicative of money laundering”. The Belarusian bank is reported to have transferred more than $1 billion to hundreds of shell corporations in multiple jurisdictions in a two-month period in 2010.

Credexbank (named Northern Investment Bank until February 2007) was founded in 2001 in free economic zone “Minsk” by Switzerland-based company Vicpart Holding SA, which owns 98.82% of the bank. Another bank's shareholder is Sentecinvest (1,18%) .  The beneficial owner of the bank was Haessig (Switzerland).