The Ukrainian government said in a statement Sunday it was now the “100 percent owner of PrivatBank and guarantees the uninterrupted functioning of this institution and the safety of its clients’ money.”
The bank was subject to local media reports it gave loans to insiders that might never be repaid. PrivatBank’s bonds have fallen by almost 50 percent since the reports surfaced in November. The bank controls one third of Ukraine’s deposits and also has branches in Baltic countries.
Former owner Igor Kolomoyskiy is a billionaire who was an early target of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko’s fight against corruption. Dragon Capital economist Sergiy Fursa said “80 to 90 percent of PrivatBank’s loans were to institutions” controlled by Kolomoyskiy.