Court to hear dispute between Paseniuk and NBU regarding Avangard bank in closed-door session

On April 4, the Kyiv District Administrative Court, on its own initiative, issued a ruling on further consideration of the case on the claim of the shareholder and member of the supervisory board of Avangard Bank Makar Paseniuk against the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) on the issue of professional suitability in a closed-door court session, the NBU has reported.

"Representatives of the National Bank of Ukraine objected to further consideration of the case in a closed-door court session. But the court issued a ruling on further consideration of the case in the closed-door court session," the NBU press service reported on Tuesday.

The regulator also said that the shareholders-plaintiffs have changed their representative in court – now he is the associated partner of the Skliarenko, Sydorenko and Partners law firm, Andriy Tryhub.

"At the same time, the NBU will submit a petition to the court to consider the case in open court proceedings and objections to the evidence that the court demanded from the plaintiff in violation of procedural norms," the National Bank said.

The press service of the ICU group belonged to Paseniuk and Kostiantyn Stetsenko told Interfax-Ukraine that they associate the court's ruling in closed sessions with the fact that the case will consider documents and information that constitute bank secrecy. According to the group, the NBU should be interested in such consideration, since it is obliged to protect banking secrecy.

"Unfortunately, this is not the first time we have seen the NBU act in disregard of the law to satisfy its own ambitions. It was because of such actions by the regulator that Paseniuk and Stetsenko filed these lawsuits with the NBU demanding the cancellation of illegal decisions," the press service of the ICU said.

Regarding the presentation of evidence to the court, which is mentioned in the NBU report, the group stated that this is a direct requirement of the court, which will be fulfilled.

"In any case, regardless of the level of openness of the court hearings, the bank's shareholders will equally and carefully continue to prove the groundlessness of the NBU's decisions and protect their legitimate interests in those jurisdictions where the banking group operates. These court proceedings do not affect the stability and quality of work of the ICU group," the group said.

In turn, the National Bank said that under the current conditions it cannot comment on new information that will be submitted to the court and will be announced during it. "We will not be able, in particular, to provide and comment on the information contained in bank statements on the payment of remuneration to the plaintiff, which were requested by the court from the plaintiff," the central bank said.

Nevertheless, the NBU said that it could comment orally and in writing on the information that was received by the court, contained in the National Bank's response to the claim, explanations about the circumstances of the payment of remuneration to members of the bank's supervisory board, its amount, the grounds for deciding that Paseniuk did not meet the requirements for professional suitability, and also information that was voiced during open court hearings.

The National Bank concluded that it will continue to prove in court the validity of the decision on the non-compliance of the now ex-head of the supervisory board of Avangard Bank Stetsenko and member of the supervisory board Makar Paseniuk with the qualification requirements for professional suitability.

The NBU said that the next hearing of the case on Paseniuk's claim in a closed court session will take place on April 10 at 11:00 in the building of the Kyiv District Administrative Court.