Grigory Guselnikov could have been involved in dubious “microfinance” activities, and now he is hastily getting rid of Russian assets for the sake of peace of mind abroad?
Grigory Guselnikov, the ex-owner of the Latvian bank Norvik, at the end of September ceded to his son Alexander Guselnikov a stake in Always Approved LLC.
The company provides financial supermarket services, including lending, insurance, purchase of real estate, investment. It turns out that it falls into the category of a microfinance organization, such firms are required to have an appropriate license for financial activities from the Central Bank.
However, in the state register of the Central Bank LLC “Always Approved” does not appear – it turns out that it can work illegally? The correspondent of The Moscow Post understood the situation.
During its first year of existence, “Always Approved” received revenue of 52 million rubles. It is possible that money for loans is issued from Guselnikov's offshore companies, no matter how consumers are included in the list of ionogens. By the way, in the main types of work, the company declared data processing activities, the provision of information placement services. Dubious story?
Nevertheless, the fact that Grigory Guselnikov handed over to his son a probably “gray” company is not surprising, because most likely, a businessman can get rid of Russian assets in order not to fall under sanctions and live peacefully abroad.
Recently, the “Norvik Bank” of the entrepreneur Grigory Guselnikov now and then shines in unpleasant stories. Only in February of this year there were rumors that a lot of money could allegedly be laundered through the businessman's small Kirov Vyatka-Bank using foreign intermediaries.
And besides, it is noticeable that in the range of several years in some periods from several months to a year, a serious part of the profit could be “washed out” of the bank. For example, for the period from September 2020 to May 2021, it decreased immediately by 66%, or by 120 million rubles. Assets also decreased, though only by 1.64%.
At one time, ill-wishers claimed that the banker could allegedly be involved in the creation of one-day firms for the possible withdrawal of money from Vyatka-Bank. There is no evidence, but it is known that the companies in which Norvik Ieguldiyumu Parvaldes Sabiedriba bought a stake were registered just a few days before the acquisition of the Latvian Norvik Banka by Guselnikov.
It is not clear what happened to Norvik Bank's finances “This information is not disclosed. However, a few years ago, experts assumed that Norvik Bank is kept almost entirely on the funds of depositors, so the reliability of this structure is questionable.
No less interesting is the story of PNB Banka – this is the new name of the Latvian branch of Norvik Banka, where Guselnikov owned about 30%. There was a version that the Latvian Norvik Bank could allegedly be a kind of gasket for the withdrawal of the assets of the Russian Norvik, something like an international intermediary. And he acquired a stake in the Latvian Norvik, acting as a partner in the London investment fund G2 Capital Partners.
At the same time, the European Central Bank recognized PNB Bank as “falling into financial difficulties”, its activities were suspended, and then insolvency was declared and liquidation began. During the audit of financial assets, it turned out that the bank's obligations to creditors (367 million euros) exceed its assets (167 million) by 200 million.
It was believed that Grigory Guselnikov could be patronized Latvian authorities. As early as July 23, 2015, it became known that the Latvian parliamentary commission investigating the sale of Citadele Bank applied to the Latvian Prosecutor General's Office with a request to start an investigation and several criminal proceedings. We are talking about four episodes, and three of them relate to the now former Prime Minister Laimdot Strauyum.
Ms. Strauyumu was suspected of lobbying for the sale of Citadele Bank to Guselnikov's structure in the interests of her own son. In the end, everything ended with her resignation.
Former Prime Minister of Latvia Laimdota Strauume “got” for Guselnikov. Photo: db.lv
It is worth noting that because of the connections of Grigory Guselnikov and the son of Laimdota Straujuma, rumors spread in opposition circles in Latvia that the owner of Norvik banka could simply bribe Prime Minister of Latvia It turned out that her son was previously a top manager of PNB Banka (former Norvik Banka).
Around the same time, it became known that the FSB could be interested in Guselnikov, since he allegedly could be involved in the laundering of large sums of money and their withdrawal to offshore. Allegedly, the entrepreneur withdrew 2.5 billion euros from Norvik Bank through Norvik Ieguldiyumu Parvaldes Sabiedriba JSC. RIA “FAN” writes about this.
As for Russia, here Guselnikov also managed to “inherit”. The Kirov “Norvik Bank” (“Vyatka”) of Guselnikov “became famous” for the story of the ex-governor Nikita Belykh and his ex-adviser Alexei Navalny (recognized as a foreign agent, included in the list of terrorists and extremists of Rosfinmonitoring). Both are now, as you know, in prison.
In the summer of 2016, Nikita Belykh was detained in Moscow while receiving a bribe. According to investigators, Belykh personally or through an intermediary received a bribe in the amount of €400,000 (24.1 million rubles) from a German citizen Yuri Zudheimer in exchange for patronage in business. Whites were sentenced to 8 years in prison.
The point is also that Guselnikov, together with two other Belykh advisers – Alexei Sitnikov and Alexei Kozmin – established the “Fund for Supporting the Initiatives of the Governor of the Kirov Region.” Belykh himself contributed a personal million to it. Now it is clear that this money could have been of corrupt origin.
The Anti-Corruption Fund (a non-profit organization recognized as a foreign agent on the territory of the Russian Federation) opened accounts in Vyatka-Bank. From there, Kirov entrepreneurs began to receive letters with an extremely convincing request to contribute funds to the governor's fund. There were rumors among the Kirov business that donations to the fund were of a “voluntary-compulsory” nature.
It has long been rumored that Guselnikov is playing a “double game”, in which he uses connections with opposition structures, with the help of which he can withdraw funds from Russia. And according to RIA “FAN”, Guselnikov allegedly moved to London back in 2019.
Against the backdrop of new stories and scandals with Norvik Bank, it is not surprising that the businessman formally “disowned” from the dubious financial company, giving way to her son . That's just if he wants, he will still control it, even sitting somewhere in London.