Honesty of Banka Baltija liquidator questioned

  • 1999-02-25
  • Anastasia Styopina
RIGA - A week after the Bank of Latvia expressed no confidence in Banka Baltija liquidator David Barrey, it asked the prosecutor general's office to investigate whether his actions have constituted criminal liability.

The central bank checked the accounting at the bankrupt Banka Baltija and says it found numerous violations in Barrey's work. It now blames Barrey for faulty bookkeeping and making unsubstantiated payments.

Bank of Latvia President Einars Repse has accused the liquidator of violating the credit institutions and accounting laws and of not preparing a balance sheet.

"The bank's accounting was not carried in a way so that a third person could get a full understanding of the bank's financial situation and its operations," Repse said when he announced that the central bank expressed no confidence in Barrey.

Following the prosecutor office's suggestion, the central bank has launched an in-depth audit of the failed bank.

Barrey, who represents the international accounting and audit company Deloitte & Touche, resigned Feb. 5, just three days before the central bank filed a no confidence claim to the Riga District Court.

At a press conference to announce his resignation, Barrey rejected all the accusations and explained that the liquidation was carried out according to international accounting standards.

"I reassure you, we've conducted this liquidation according to the principles we apply globally," Barrey said. He also mentioned that he is preparing a final report that would answer all the questions raised by the Bank of Latvia during its audit.

Deloitte & Touche took up liquidation of the failed bank in 1996 and has drawn 1.6 million lats ($2.8 million) for its services out of the 14.7 million lats recovered.

The central bank claims that certain payments to Deloitte & Touche and other companies with which the liquidator cooperated were supported neither by proper documents nor contracts.

As liquidator, Barrey has several times put off payment of compensations, but before he resigned, he made a final promise to start paying the recovered 9.5 million lats to depositors on March 29.

Just before press time Feb. 23, the Baltic News Service reported that the Bank of Latvia appointed Invest-Riga to replace Barrey.