The Ukrainian government announced on Sunday that it will nationalize the country’s leading lender PrivatBank. In a statement given on Sunday evening, the government promised a stable transition and the smooth functioning of the bank. The Finance Ministry will take over PrivatBank, controlled by oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky. Finance Minister Oleksandr Danylyuk said depositors’ money was safe and secured by the state, and that the bank was functioning normally.
“The private shareholders of PrivatBank proposed to the government that it become the bank’s owner in the interests of its clients,” the government indicated in the statement. “The transition period begins on 19 December. The state will ensure a smooth transition and the stable functioning of the bank.”
“Under Western-backed banking reforms, Ukraine is expected to shut lenders that cannot meet capitalisation targets, but with nearly $6 billion in private deposits – 36.5 percent of Ukraine’s total – PrivatBank is considered too big to fail,” according to Reuters. There was no official press release issued from PrivatBank.