Parabank institution suspected of defrauding customers' money - Our polish office experts featured in media debates

28 August 2012

Members of our banking and finance team in Warsaw have featured across a range of national media channels this month commenting on the recent collapse of investment fund Amber Gold. The fund fell after its head was accused by Polish prosecutors of defrauding thousands of customers, by promising guaranteed profits from gold. Operating as a Polish parabank (an unregulated financial institution), Amber Gold allegedly took cash deposits from its customers.

The coverage includes interviews and articles on Polish radio and TVN CNBC, the television arm of Poland’s largest media group. We expect more media coverage on this hot topic over the coming weeks. 

  • Attorney Jakub Ruiz appeared on Polsat television News and spoke about the working methods of Amber Gold and legal aspects of fraud.
  • Partner Sławomir Szepietowski explains how bank deposits are guaranteed by the Bank Guarantee Fund, and how money can be recovered from parabanks, on TVN CNBC.
  • In a discussion on TVN CNBC, Sławomir Szepietowski talks about 14 other non-licensed companies on the Polish Financial Supervision Authority’s (KNF) ‘black list’, engaged in banking activities that may be considered a risk to clients.
  • In an interview with Polskie Radio, Sławomir Szepietowski explains how fraud is currently difficult to prove during the registration of a newly established company, making it difficult to sentence a board member. Sławomir then argues that these problems could be solved by using computer systems.
  • Sławomir Szepietowski discusses how to avoid the risks associated with parabanks.
  • In a feature discussing the growing concerns over companies conducting similar fraudulent schemes to Amber Gold, TVN CNBC analyses the possible risks to clients from two companies on KNF’s warning list. Michał Markowski explains how certain shadow banking firms conduct quasi-banking activity without the required banking license, risking their clients’ investments.
  • Following Amber Gold’s statement that it is already repaying the cash deposits as victims of the scheme pursue legal action, Bartłomiej Niewczas admits on Polskie Radio that this kind of litigation can prove convenient for the casualties.
  • Bartłomiej also commented on the corporate governance rules and liability of a company's governing body in relation to the alleged illegal activity undertaken by the CEO of Amber Gold, in an interview on Polish television channel TVP1.

 

Currently the media is focusing on the chances customers have of recovering their money from charitable institutions which received donations from the parabank. The issue was discussed in a debate on TV Biznes in which Maciej Gawroński, Partner, participated as an legal expert.

The Amber Gold case is ongoing and a subject of great media interest. Undoubtedly, the Polish team will continue to participate in these media debates.