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Ivanishvili: IMF representative asked me not to arrest Kadagidze

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Monday, June 8
The International Monetary Bank (IMF) has called on the current Georgian government to refrain from depriving the National Bank (NBG) of the financial monitoring function of the commercial banks.

The IMF stresses that the amendments might pose risks for the independence of the NBG.

The draft proposed to the legislative body by the two Georgian Dream lawmakers envisages the setting up of the Financial Supervisory Agency from July 1 2015, which will be in charge of monitoring and supervision of banking sector and other financial institutions; these functions are currently carried out by departments of the NBG.

In response to the offered changes IMF recommends holding consultations with key stakeholders and international experts right now.

“If these consultations result in proposals to amend the central bank law, any amendments should preserve the independence of the NBG and ensure that its governance and operations are in line with international best practice. The IMF stands ready to provide assistance in this area,” Azim Sadikov, IMF Resident Representative, said in a written statement on June 5.

Meanwhile, Georgia’s former Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili stresses that proving the amendments would be the best way for keeping the independence of the banking field.

He spoke about the previous “faults” of the head of the National Bank, Giorgi Kadagidze, and the request of the IMF not to arrest Kadagidze.

“Those who make such statements that the bill would pose a threat to the investment climate do not understand what kind of amendments are planned in Parliament. On the contrary, it will give more independence to banks and they will no longer – if such things exist – become victims of the political games of the National Bank,” Ivanishvili said.

He stressed that his bank Cartu has already experienced the threat when he was in the opposition, prior to the 2012 parliamentary elections.

Ivanishvili said that he told the prosecutor’s office to drop the investigation against Kadagidze over his alleged role in a plot against Cartu Bank upon a request of International Monetary Fund (IMF) “representative.”

It is very likely Ivanishvili refers to the investigation that was launched by the Interior Ministry shortly after the Georgian Dream coalition came into power in 2012. The case concerned potential efforts of the previous government to lead the Cartu Bank to bankruptcy.

Commenting on the issue, the IMF states that it never interferes in justice-related issues.

The government has not yet revealed its clear position over the issue. Minister of Economics Giorgi Kvirikashvili stated that he would express his view after consultations with the business sector.

The President, a significant number of NGOs and the opposition United National Movement are against the proposed amendments.