For online banking, press 1. For bank cards, press 2…
– Hello, I would like to open an account with you. My salary is 6,000 levs a mont; I have a stable job. I want to apply for a credit card.
– Of course, we offer Visa credit cards.
– I wish to have one with a higher limit? Is 60,000 euro possible?
– Oh, we do not provide such credit lines even to companies; the maximum is 10 000 levs
Bivol conducted this experiment with a random bank, after finding out that the Head of the Financial Supervision Commission (FSC) has declared in 2012 two bank credit cards with limits of 60,000 euro (117,350 levs) and 50,000 levs. The employe in charge has also listed depostis in the amount f 40,000 levs. His declaration is published on the National Audit Office website.
According to the Financial Supervision Commission Act, Article 7 (1), the FSC Chairperson shall receive a basic monthly remuneration of 90 percent of the remuneration of the Speaker of the National Assembly or about 4,500 levs (the information is from 2012).
The credit lines, declared by Mr. Stoyan Mavrodiev (FSC Chairperson – editor’s note), apparently are not offered to “mere mortals”, even if they have incomes higher than his. Besides, the limits are disproportionate to his income and lead to suspicions of graft favoritism on the part of supervised entities – the banks that have issued the respective credit cards.
Bivol sent a letter of request to Mavrodiev’s employer – the Speaker of the Parliament Tsetska Tsacheva – to obtain information what banks precisely have issued the credit cards and under what criteria.
The issue is particularly sensitive on the backdrop of the collapse of Corporate Commercial Bank (CCB) and information that politicians and magistrates have used privileged terms on deposits and loans in that bank.
Such is the case with the credit cards of Ahmed Dogan, honorary lifetime Chairman of the party largely representing the Muslim minority in Bulgaria, Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) and former DPS Minister, Emel Etem, as reported by Capital daily. However, even they have lower limits than Mavrodiev.
The FSC Head was appointed to the post by the now second-term ruling centrist party Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB). He became known as “Brendo’s Lawyer” after a prosecutor asked for him to be questioned in the courtroom in a trial for money laundering against drug trafficker Evelin Banev, AKA Brendo, who has a 20-year prison sentence in Italy.
“I insist on the questioning of witness Mavrodiev as his signature is on documents submitted by ” Quilin Ventures “and” Fidelity Enterprises”, including documents that empower Desislava Dishlieva and Vladimir Dishliev to represent companies in bank accounts in Euram Bank,” the prosecutor in the case said in the courtroom, quoted by Capital daily
Bivol also revealed that on August 4, 2006, Mavrodiev and his wife bought from Rumen Nikolov, AKA The Pasha, known as boss of the alleged top crime group in the past – SIC – an apartment of 173 square meters with two garages of 20 square meters each in the upscale Sofia district of Lozenets. The family then shelled to the Pasha 200,000 levs for the luxury property. Rumen Nikolov The Pasha is considered very close to second-term Prime Minister and GERB Leader, Boyko Borisov, with whom he ran in 1995 a factory for the contraband manufacture of cigarettes in Kraimorie, near the Black Sea city of Burgas.
In a letter with the right of reply, sent to our media, Mavrodiev alleges that he does not know The Pasha and bought the apartment through a real estate agency. His explanation, however, does not clarify who concluded the transaction with the notary public.
Under Mavrodiev’s leadership, FSC entirely “missed” the CCB collapse, but is particularly active in the crackdown on media that cite problems of another “bad apple” – First Investment Bank (FIB). It just emerged last Wednesday that the FSC has imposed record fines on the publisher of media Capital and Dnevnik (150,000 levs), the publisher of the Vratsa-based site Call News (100,000 levs) and on a currently unknown journalist (50,000 levs) for publication of information related to the issues around FIB of majority shareholders Tseko Minev and Ivaylo Mutafchiev. The state institution, led by Mavrodiev, has quite obviously replaced the object of its activity and from being a financial regulator it has turned into the main media censor to protect the interests of the oligarchic backstage rule. It became clear that for the entire 2014, all other sanctions imposed on impeccable Bulgarian business entities are smaller than the fines for one media identified for destruction.
There are pending legal proceedings under the same article of the law against the site Mediapool and against our site. “Reporters Without Borders” have already reacted strongly against these attempts of censorship and intimidation. The uncompromising opinion of the international organization is that such practices are absolutely incompatible for an EU Member State. However, this opinion not only didn’t startle Mavrodiev and Co, on the contrary – they openly demonstrate that they do not have any intention to comply with democratic criteria. This is a good indication of a country whose credit rating was definitely reduced and this is a consequence of the continued deterioration of democratic society and the monstrous corruption in different sectors of power.
Regardless of any sanctions, Bivol will continue to publish reliable and documented information on the ongoing drain on banks “bad apples” with the active inaction of regulators and prosecutors. By the way, the latter had been indeed alerted about the problem.
This post is also available in: Bulgarian