Parliamentary committee to hold meeting on HNB next Thursday

NEWS 20.01.2022 19:09
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Source: Marko Lukunic/PIXSELL

The parliamentary finance and budget committee on Thursday decided that a thematic meeting on securities traded by Croatian Central Bank (HNB) employees would be held next Thursday with HNB Governor Boris Vujcic and his deputy Sandra Svaljek being expected to attend it.

Four committee members called for the thematic meeting, Zvonimir Troskot (Most), Vesna Vucemilovic (Croatian Sovereignists), Boris Lalovac (SDP) and Marijana Puljak (Centre), after media reports about HNB employees trading with securities of banks the HNB is supposed to supervise.

“The accusations are serious, horrible and not in the least pleasant and we want to cast light on it in a proper way,” the committee’s chair Grozdana Peric (HDZ) said.

She added that the committee had received an explanation from HNB related to media reports and for now that is the only official material the committee has at its disposal. The financial regulator HANFA and the Central Clearing Deposits Agency (SKDD) need to send their opinions too.

HNB also has to supplement its explanation because another four people are currently being inspected to see if they were involved in any wrongdoing, added Peric.

Marijana Puljak (Centre) believes that apart from investigating whether everything was done according to the law or not it is necessary to discuss whether the officials had acted in line with ethical standards.

Vesna Vucemilovic (Croatian Sovereignists) underscored that the issue here is the banking system which rests on trust and that the accusations are quite grave and all should be explained.

The committee agreed that Vujcic and Svaljek should attend the meeting as well as representatives from HANFA and SKDD.

Last Sunday, the HNB Governor Vujcic said he was not thinking of resigning and called on the financial regulator HANFA to look into the veracity of media reports of financial wrongdoing at the central bank.

“We certainly didn’t do anything wrong,” Vujcic said in a comment on the article by the Index news website saying that 40 HNB staff had been involved in insider trading in securities.

Vujcic said that he always adhered to the law in his work. In 2001, when he joined the HNB leadership, he had sold his shares in two banks to avoid a potential conflict of interest, he added.

He said that the HNB had adopted a code of ethics in 2016, which requires all staff to report to their superiors if they trade in banks’ securities.

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