Netransparentnost in konflikt interesov pri stresnem pregledu bank

Vam imena družb Alvarez and Marsal, BlackRock, Oliver Wyman, Pimco kaj povedo? To so družbe, ki so same in skupaj s “poddobavitelji“, “big 4” revizijskimi hišami Deloitte, Ernst&Young, KPMG and PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) naredile velik posel pri ocenjevanju bančnega sektorja v šestih problematičnih državah (Grčija, Irska, Španija, Portugalska, Ciper in Slovenija). Skupaj za več kot 100 milijonov evrov.

Povsod pa, kot razkriva EUobserver, boste naleteli na netransparentnost njihove izbire in na konflikt interesov. Vse konzultantske družbe so bile najete pod pritiskom nujnosti, zaradi česar je odpadla zahteva po transparentnosti postopka javne izbire. Številne pa so v konfliktu interesov, ker hčerinske družbe “stresno pregledujejo” banke preden vanje investirajo njihove matične investicijske družbe.

Splača se prebrati originalni članek. Spodaj je le nekaj kratkih odlomkov.

They are often hired without a public tender, posing questions on transparency and accountability.

They are sometimes hired despite potential conflicts of interest, which arise from links to investment funds and other financial service providers.

The consultancies also hire subcontractors, posing extra questions on who has access to inside information and how they use it.

Take Alvarez and Marsal.

The New York-based consultancy earned €2 million for setting up and managing Spain’s “bad bank” in 2012.

In a typical model, it brought in a Spanish law firm called Cuatrecasas, a Japanese financial services company called Nomura and PwC to help do the job.


It has also earned €6.6 million for its work on the Cypriot bailout.

But its work in Cyprus caused a scandal which brought the questions to light.

According to an internal audit by the Cyprus central bank board, it got the money despite being ineligible for part of the work.

The scandal erupted in October this year, when Cypriot media reported that Demetriades awarded Alvarez and Marsal another, whopping, fee of €15 million without the board’s knowledge.

According to internal correspondence and draft contracts dating back to March 2013, the consultancy’s executive director, Hal Hirsch, and Demetriades, in principle agreed to payment of the fee “by whatever means” the recapitalisation was to be carried out.

Demetriades in a written note in October claimed he agreed to the fee under pressure from the US firm. The central bank audit document quotes him as saying the fee agreement was: “Signed under duress. Mr Hirsch threatened to move the entire Alvarez team out of Cyprus at the peak of the crisis if I did not sign.”

In January 2011, the Irish central bank hired its competitor, BlackRock Solutions, shortly after the Irish government filed for an €85 billion EU-IMF bailout.

BlackRock Solutions is a small advisory unit within BlackRock, a US-based firm, which has, in recent years, become the world’s largest asset management fund, overseeing €3 trillion of its clients’ wealth.

The Irish central bank also hired the US firm to assist in the completion of the 2012 and 2013 reviews of the banks’ capital needs.

At the same time, its parent firm, BlackRock, had, according to a company statement from April 2012, “client business in Ireland” worth “over €5 billion” and “assets domiciled in Ireland” worth €162 billion.

Seven months later, BlackRock announced it will buy 3 percent of the Bank of Ireland – one of the banks which its subsidiary, BlackRock Solutions, “stress-tested” in 2011.

Greece also gave BlackRock Solutions a similar contract worth €12.3 million.

It included subcontracting to the Big Four audit firms.

According to a New York Times report in 2012, the troika and anything linked to it had become so hated in Greece that BlackRock Solutions used a fake name (“Solar”) and recruited 18 armed security guards to do its work.

In September 2012, Cyprus also hired Deloitte and Pimco, the world’s largest bond investor and an asset management firm of a size to rival BlackRock, to look at bank recapitalisation.

It later hired BlackRock Solutions/Solar to double-check the methodology of Pimco, in a decision which might make McDonnell’s head spin.

The Spanish government was more wary than its Irish and Greek counterparts.

BlackRock Solutions also pitched for a contract to stress test local banks as part of troika requirements for Spain’s €41 billion bank bailout.

But Spanish economy minister Luis de Guindos said in May 2012 that BlackRock Solutions risked conflict of interest with BlackRock’s investment activities.

BlackRock’s business in Spain is estimated to be worth €5.1 billion.

Spain awarded the €10.3 million contract to Oliver Wyman, another US consultancy, and Roland Berger, a German firm.

It also hired Deloitte (€1.8mn), Ernst&Young (€7.2mn), KPMG (€5mn), and PwC (€5.3mn), to carry out audits.

Portugal, like Spain, hired Oliver Wyman to assess the recapitalisation of the local banking system under its troika programme.

It got €1 million for 44 days of work.

In September 2013, the ECB followed suit: It hired Oliver Wyman to assess the balance sheets of the 130 largest banks in the eurozone.

It declined to give details about the fee or the tender procedures which led to its choice.

Vir: EUobserver

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