The following little dialogue was brought to us by Mekhrali Iskenderov, pensioner and resident of Novkhanı. He maintains that he had this talk with a certain Seymur, an employee of the loans department of Kapitalbank.
“He told me: ‘and who am I, a regular bank employee… The bank has an owner. Do you know who it is? Who does Pasha Holding belong to, do you know?’
‘Yes, I know, and why wouldn’t I know, it belongs to Leyla Aliyeva.’
And he says, ‘good job, old man. Now tell me, who am I? I just do what they tell me to do.”
“THEY LEFT NOTHING ON THE CARD”
Because of two problem loans, each month Kapitalbank completely empties the card belonging to my interviewee’s spouse, Nazakat Iskanderova. And what’s more, this is done without a court ruling. “Back then, my spouse became the guarantor for a person who suddenly died. But he had insurance that they took out on credit. Then the bank employees said that the loan was cancelled, since he’d been insured. The second loan belongs to my spouse. The situation became complicated, there were late payments. Then, once, when she went to check her card at the ATM, she saw that the card was empty. We started to look into it, and it turned out that Kapitalbank withdrew the money from the card. But legally, withholdings on a card can only be 50% per month. But they didn’t leave anything, they take all the money for themselves. You don’t get any warning, no court ruling… I went to the problem loans department and said ‘since you don’t have a court ruling on this, by what right are you going into someone else’s card? I don’t at all agree with such an approach, and I’m going to challenge it.”
“WHY AREN’T YOU PAYING THE INTEREST FOR LATE PAYMENTS?”
According to Mekhrali Iskanderov, he was told that the bank belongs to the president’s daughter, Leyla Aliyeva, and it’s not possible to waste time in court for such a ‘little issue’. The pensioner, infuriated, shot back with the following: “I don’t get it, sometimes our pension payments are delayed by weeks. But for some reason, the guilty party doesn’t pay us interest or fines for this. Why is that, eh? Why doesn’t the bank pay me a fine for late pension payments? And they don’t even offer an apology. But the moment an average person happens to make a late payment, they practically take the shirt off his back.”
We’d like to note that the ultimate beneficiaries of Kapitalbank are President Ilham Aliyev’s daughters, Leyla and Arzu Aliyeva. Kapitalbank wrote about this in its yearly report for 2014.
Within the Khadija project, the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) has identified eight banks that belong to the presidential family. The authorities have not refuted this claim.
“WE’LL LOOK INTO IT”
Radio Azadliq contacted Kapitalbank. At the bank they asked for the client’s telephone number, saying they would get to the bottom of the problem.
The director of Kapitalbank’s marketing and PR department, Vusal Naqiev, had previously sent an official letter to the newspaper Bizim Yol (Our way). This letter discussed the creation means for payment of credit debt, such as online, or via withholdings from wages or pension cards, with the consent of the debtor.
And, in fact, the client did give the bank a statement that he did not object to the debt being written off from wages and other transfers to the card, without his consent, according to a payment schedule: “In accordance with article 964 of the Civil Code, he hereby directs that the credit debt be written off from his account. As such, if there should occur a delay in paying off the debt according to the payment schedule, this permits the debt to be paid off from the client’s card”.
This article was originally published in Russian on Radio Azadliq.