The Fondi Besa scandal

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times September 4, 2019 08:29

The Fondi Besa scandal

TIRANA, Sept. 4- The investigation code-named “Credit” led to the arrest end of seven employees of the non-banking monetary foundation, Fondi Besa (Besa Fund) by the end of August, who had come up with a tearing fraud scheme, earning an amount of 3.7 million euros.

The report in Procurement was made by the foundation’s directors to the employees. After the investigation of the Tirana police it was discovered that the whole scheme was favored and organized by the director of one of the affiliates of the Fondi Besa, Albana Imami. She was arrested along with four other employees with whom she cooperated in providing fictitious loans.

The scheme developed within the Fondi Besa concerned fictitious loan applications, with applicants being persons unaware of the application being made. Taking advantage of the applicants’ low level of financial literacy and illiteracy, under the pretext of “awarding,” these applicants have filed with commercial banks to sign up for the loan funds required by the Besa Fund, application made in fact by Imami and her associates. After the disbursement of the loan fund, which was typically in line with the branch’s approval limits amounting to 700 thousand lek, with an 84-month maturity. The applicants received a certain amount of credit (about 25 percent according to Imami’s testimony in the Prosecutor’s Office), while the rest of the money benefited the Imami.

The Bank of Albania reacted to the fraud committed by the Besa Fund by explaining that it is “closely following the whole process and, depending on the conclusions of the inspection, as well as investigations by law enforcement agencies, will take all measures necessary in accordance with the laws and regulations in force.”

As a supervisory authority that tracks all entities licensed by it, in accordance with their risk profile and impact on the country’s financial stability, even with regard to the Fondi Besa, the Bank of Albania says that it has carried out continuous supervision, in accordance with and within the legal framework available to the Bank of Albania and has made concrete recommendations regarding the exercise of lending activity and in order to prevent operational risks.

But the Bank of Albania does not clarify whether any problems related to Fondi Besa have emerged during the supervision. However, the Bank of Albania considers that this act of fraud does not affect the stability of the banking system in Albania. The Bank of Albania draws attention to the response that non-bank financial entities are financial institutions that exercise financial activities as defined by the legal and regulatory framework, such as lending, microcredit, factoring, financial leasing, monetary payment and transfer services, electronic money issuance, foreign exchange, etc.

Unlike commercial banks, BoA says, non-bank financial institutions do not accept deposits from individuals and provide funding from shareholders’ own resources. Under these conditions, these entities are many times smaller in size than commercial banks and as such, are considered relatively low risk.

Fondi Besa is a non-bank financial entity licensed by the Bank of Albania under license no.10 dated on Dec. 26, 2008. The total assets of the Fund as of March 2019 are about 14.7 billion lek, or 1 percent of banking system assets. The number of active borrowers of the subject is about 33 thousand people.

 

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times September 4, 2019 08:29