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Three large-scaled banks claim there is an information campaign against them

18 february 2014, 16:38
Three large-scaled banks of Kazakhstan, Kaspi Bank, Center Credit and Alliance, have turned to the law enforcement bodies to investigate into an alleged information campaign waged by some anonymous group spreading rumors of immediate bankruptcy of the three lenders.

Against the backdrop of heated sentiments in the wake of 20% currency devaluation the Internet forums are filled with rumors of some banks reportedly facing bankruptcy shortly. The first bank to face the information attack was Center Credit, with its Chairman trying to refute the rumors twice. A bit later there was a campaign launched on WhatsApp to inform users of supposedly forthcoming bankruptcy of Alliance and Kaspi banks. Kaspi bank today has announced a reward of $500 000 “for those able to spot the initiators of the misleading SMS campaign”.

Depositors have been trying to withdraw their money. According to Michael Lomtadze, CEO of Kaspi Bank, there have been some shortages of cash at some the Bank’s outlets and ATMs.

The statement of the banks reads that in the recent days residents of Almaty and Astana have been bombarded with suspicious sms and WhatsApp messages informing them of approaching bankruptcy of the three banks.

“Heads and shareholders of Center Credit, Alliance and Kaspi banks and heads of the Association of Financiers of Kazakhstan state that the messages are targeted at destabilizing the financial system of Kazakhstan”, the statement reads.

“The three banks and the Association of Financiers have turned to the country’s law enforcement bodies to hold the information campaigners liable”, the statement reads.

According to Michael Lomtadze, CEO of Kaspi Bank, the misleading information campaign is being waged by information terrorists. “There are some ill-wishers out there that are not happy with the Bank’s successes. We have announced a reward of around $500 000 to help us reveal the initiators (…) We guarantee anonymity. Any such information could be forwarded to crowdsourcing@kaspibank.kz”, he said, adding that the amount is supposed to draw attention of as many people as possible.

Besides, he has promised to raise his employees’ salaries by 10% in the wake of the currency devaluation.

Earlier the country’s Minister of Economic Affairs and Budget Planning Erbolat Dossayev commented on the allegedly forthcoming bankruptcy of the three lenders: “Alliance bank has announced debt restructuring. There have been no signs of a possible bancruptcy. And we have heard nothing of such plans”, the Minister said.

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