Newly Formed Coalition for Accountability at Moneta Money Bank Warns GE Capital, JP Morgan Chase, Blackrock and The Capital Group that Significant Risk Lies Ahead for the Company
The Coalition has warned key US shareholders including GE Capital, JP Morgan Chase, The Capital Group, and Blackrock that Moneta Money Bank has allegedly engaged in illegal activities by cheating shareholders of Agrobanka and that lawsuits against Moneta Money Bank are pending
NEW YORK, June 27, 2018 -- The Coalition for Accountability at Moneta Money Bank (“the Coalition”), an organization started by anti-corruption activists in the Czech Republic, has issued a strong warning to large US investors that Moneta Money Bank, a Prague based publicly traded firm, has allegedly engaged in illegal activities. According to the coalition, Moneta Money Bank cheated farmers, retirees and other ordinary Czech citizens who invested in Agrobanka, the institution on which Moneta Money Bank is built. Litigation is currently pending in Czech courts while complaints have been filed through the European Commission. The litigation, which Moneta Money Bank has itself mentioned in reports as a significant risk, will, if successful, cripple the bank with significant debts.
In 1998, Agrobanka’s assets were purchased for 11 Million Euro (approximately $12 Million at 1998 rates) by GE Capital and Agrobanka was turned into GE Money Bank. GE subsequently secured €730 million (approximately $800 Million) in subsidies from the Czech National Bank and at the same time guarantees from the state in the amount of €4.7 billion. Immediately after its acquisition, Agrobanka (already turned into GE Money Bank) started generating profit. A year later, in 1999, it showed net profit of €36.3 million, and its profitability continued to increase in the following years. Despite this success, the Coalition maintains that original shareholders of Agrobanka were not given any opportunity to partake in the profits.
This high profitability of GE Money Bank (formerly Agrobanka) proves it was not necessary to provide the support in connection with the purchase of the profitable assets of Agrobanka. GE Money Bank was holding the subsidies from the Czech National Bank of €730 million in Agrobanka for the whole period of time, to subsequently pay it off in 2015 in the form of dividend. The Coalition has claimed that the subsidies from the Czech National Bank were only secured due to corrupt deal-making on the part of GE Group.
In 2016, GE Money Bank was put on the stock market and renamed to Moneta Money Bank. Its IPO led to a valuation of approximately $2 billion and a significant profit for GE Group. At that point, other US investment firms including JP Morgan Chase, The Capital Group and Blackrock purchased significant stakes.
The Coalition organized demonstrations at the offices of these firms as well as at the offices of Weil, Gotshal and Manages LLP, the law firm instrumental in setting up the alleged corrupt dealings. The message was to warn shareholders to divest from Moneta Money Bank to avoid becoming a party to what the Coalition describes as an “unconscionable injustice perpetrated by the powerful on the weak and by the rich on the poor.” The coalition set up a website, www.MonetaScam.org to further communicate about its efforts.
In a statement, the Coalition for Accountability at Moneta Money Bank strongly condemned GE for its role and urged all US investors to consider their roles as responsible stewards and fiduciaries for their clients’ assets.
“GE, under the controversial leadership of Jeffrey Immelt, clandestinely purchased Agrobanka and used corrupt practices to secure major capital infusions from Czech taxpayers. At the same time, these same Czech taxpayers were being left out of any profits from the immensely profitable GE Money Bank and the subsequent publicly traded Moneta Money Bank. Perhaps these profits were instead directed towards a second plane for Jeffrey Immelt’s luxurious jet setting adventures? Shareholders such as JP Morgan Chase, Blackrock and Capital Group who are owners of this corrupt and duplicitous company are either unaware of our compelling concerns or truly have no morals at all. By continuing to invest their funds in Moneta Money Bank, they are putting their clients’ assets at grave risk considering the ongoing litigation taking place.”
Moreover, the coalition urged Moneta Money Bank’s US shareholders to live up to the positive visions that they themselves espouse.
“GE and its CEO John Flannery have told its shareholders and the American Public that it plans to turn a new leaf on its way of doing business. There is no better way to do so than by divesting from Moneta Money Bank. JP Morgan Chase and Jamie Dimon claim to want to use the power of capitalism for good. This is their opportunity. We urge all Moneta Money Bank shareholders to divest today and avoid being party both to the unethical activity and financial risk involved in ongoing litigation,” the Coalition added.
Comparison of costs and revenues of the Moneta Money Bank (GE Group) in relation to the sale of Agrobanka:
Purchase of the profitable parts of Agrobanka in 1998 €11 million
BENEFITS AND PROFITS
Capital contribution in 1998 (paid off in the form of dividend in 2015) €730 million
Guarantees from the state in 1998 €4.7 billion
Net profit in 1999 (continued to increase in the following years) €36.3 million
Sale of 100 percent shares of Moneta in 2016 €1.6 billion