The International Monetary Fund (IMF) again warns the Ukrainian authorities against transferring shares of PINbank (JSC «First Investment Bank») to the logistics operator «Ukrposhta». The head of the IMF mission in Ukraine, Gavin Gray, offered to consider alternative solutions regarding this financial institution, so that the Ukrainian side could fulfill its obligations in cooperation with the Fund.
The transfer of PINbank shares to «Ukrposhta» has become relevant again. So Gavin Gray sent a letter to the Ukrainian authorities with recommendations not to bother with this option and to find alternative solutions, the Interfax-Ukraine news agency reports with reference to its own sources.
It states that it is better to limit the licenses of «Ukrposhta» for the provision of payment services, and to liquidate PINbank. Other regulatory tools used in working with non-systemic banking institutions can also be applied to it.
According to paragraph 60 of the updated memorandum, Ukraine must adhere to the strategy of reducing the presence of the state in the banking sector. If there is a need to increase this share, it can be met only after consultations with the Fund's experts and taking into account measures aimed at ensuring national interests and the stability of the financial system during the war.
According to the strategy approved by the Government, Ukraine should gradually reduce the state's share in the banking sector from 60% to 25%. Therefore, the appearance of the sixth state bank could prevent this.
The IMF is also concerned that Ukrposhta does not yet have the necessary infrastructure to provide financial services in its branches. It takes time to develop, and some implementation features may affect the quality of service to the operator's customers during martial law.
It is known that the negotiations regarding the transfer of PINbank shares became the third attempt of Ukrposhta to create its own bank and provide financial services to the population throughout Ukraine, now also in the frontline areas. It should become state-owned, but it would not be part of the vertical management of the Ministry of Finance. However, during a meeting in Washington last December, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi and IMF Director Kristalina Georgieva reached an agreement on updating the terms of the memorandum, according to which Ukrposhta would probably have to abandon the idea of creating its own bank.
Later, during the final meeting of the team of the Ministry of Community Development, Territories and Infrastructure with embassies and the public, the general director of the operator Ihor Smilyansky noted that this does not prevent the company from continuing to work on making the bank work in its structure.