Police investigating yet another case of bank crime
The police said they were looking for evidence of unlawful gains worth EUR 17m stemming from abuse of office in banking, in what is just the latest bank crime inquiry following the 2013 bank bailout.
Several web portals have reported the sting has targeted Probanka, a small private bank that was wound down in 2013 and subsequently folded into the Bank Asset Management Company (BAMC).
BAMC confirmed for the STA investigators were at their Maribor location, with the investigation referring to loans made prior to 2013.
According to 24ur.com, the investigators are looking at loans Probanka had approved to financial holdings Zlata Moneta II and Medaljon, and the bakeries Klasje and Pekarne Ptuj.
The companies had significant cross-ownership, with all but Pekarne Ptuj now bankrupt. They were owned by Tomaž Ročnik, the brother of former Probanka boss Romana Pajenk.
Pajenk and several bankers are among the suspects, believed to have approved several loans even though they knew they would never be paid back, which is a violation of the banking act and Probanka bylaws.
Probanka was wound down in late-2013 at a cost of EUR 176m plus EUR 540m in state guarantees. Earlier this year it was folded into the bad bank with remaining assets of EUR 228m.
A parliamentary inquiry into the bank bailout has so far found Probanka had been very lax with lending standards.
The Maribor-based bank had been strongly embedded in the economy of eastern Slovenia and played a prominent role in several controversial management buyouts.