“There is no way of thinking about continued existence. The bank must be liquidated,” said Governor Hans Peter Doskozil (SPÖ) at a press conference on Wednesday. The country is now setting up hotlines for those affected.
Many companies and individuals would “most likely lose a lot of money at the end of the day,” Doskozil said.
A hotline will be set up both in the state government and in Burgenland’s economy (WiBuG), which will be available to private individuals and companies. In addition, a lawyer will be hired to offer free legal advice.
The country has a business relationship with the commercial bank through Energie Burgenland. “It is an investment of five million euros.”
The amount of the damage is currently not foreseeable. However, the financial market authority informed him that the situation was “dramatic”, said the governor.
Outrage in Burgenland state politics
The balance sheet scandal surrounding the commercial bank Mattersburg caused outrage in Burgenland’s state politics on Wednesday. In addition to Governor Hans Peter Doskozil (SPÖ), FPÖ business spokesman Alexander Petschnig was “shaken”. ÖVP state party leader Christian Sagartz spoke of a “shock for all concerned”.
It now needs full education, security and perspective for those affected, said Sagartz. “The country must do everything possible to avert damage to the business location.” In any case, the financial market supervision “acted resolutely and thus prevented more damage”, said the ÖVP state party chairman.
Petschnig emphasized that the Commerzialbank as an investor in the district capital of Mattersburg and at SV Mattersburg had developed an “important position in regional economic and business life”. “I can’t believe that all of this was built on sand and, should the allegations be borne out, should only have been possible through unfair commercial practices,” he said. The victims are now sometimes “the thousands of customers who have entrusted the bank with hundreds of millions of euros,” said Petschnig.
Continuation of business operations prohibited
On July 14, 2020, the Financial Market Authority (FMA) prohibited Commerzialbank Mattersburg im Burgenland AG (Commerzialbank) from continuing its business operations with immediate effect.
Energie Burgenland is concerned about the one-digit million amount
The balance sheet scandal at the Mattersburger Commerzialbank and a possible liquidation of the bank will probably cost Energie Burgenland a single-digit million amount. The energy supplier has invested part of the daily allowances at the Burgenland commercial bank Mattersburg.
“Subject to further developments, Energie Burgenland AG assumes that a larger part of this money will not be collectable, which is why it has an extraordinarily negative earnings effect of at most medium for its fiscal year 2019/20 ending on September 30, 2020 single-digit millions expected, “said Burgenland Holding AG on Wednesday afternoon. The result of Burgenland Holding is essentially determined by the result of Energie Burgenland, in which it holds 49 percent.
More than 400 million euros in covered deposits lie in the Mattersburger Commerzialbank, which was shaken by a balance sheet scandal and which was prohibited by the Financial Market Authority (FMA) on Wednesday night. The deposit guarantee is already active, the deposit guarantee case has already occurred. Assets in accounts and savings accounts of up to EUR 100,000 per customer and per bank are secured.
Mattersburg-Bank shocks with suspected bogus loans
The state of Burgenland assured those affected by the balance sheet scandal involving the commercial bank Mattersburg on Wednesday of broad support. In order to enable customers to quickly open an account with another bank, its branches are extending their opening hours, announced Governor Hans Peter Doskozil (SPÖ).
The governor is also shocked: “Due to a huge fraud, a lot of personal fates are negatively impacted. I spoke to people who have invested all their savings in the bank and who cried,” said Doskozil. The economic and corruption prosecutor’s office is now required to clarify the case “with complete consistency and rigor”. The country will do its part.
There is suspicion that “fantasy loans were invented”, Doskozil said. He was “personally deeply disappointed by CEO Martin Pucher. For me personally it was a shock. I would never have thought that this man would commit such an offense,” emphasized Doskozil. Pucher “could not imagine what he did with it. That cannot be described in words in and of itself,” said the governor.
All Mattersburg Bank customers should “open a new account with another bank as soon as possible,” said Doskozil. Bank Burgenland and Erste Bank branches in Mattersburg are therefore expected to extend their opening hours until 6 p.m. for the next two weeks.
According to the governor, two legal advisors will also be on site at Bank Burgenland. A representative of Einlagensicherung Austria GmbH will also come to Mattersburg on Thursday. A customer list is created and an overview is drawn up.
The bank ombudsman that has been set up will be available to private individuals at 057 / 600-2465. The Wirtschaft Burgenland (WiBuG) is available under 059010-210 for affected entrepreneurs. According to Doskozil, the department for regional planning, security, municipalities and economy in the regional government will advise the affected municipalities.
Specifically, there were branches of the Commerzialbank in nine municipalities. Over 50 employees are employed there. 250 employees of the state government who receive their salaries from Mattersburg Bank are also affected.
The guards have turned on the economic and corruption prosecutors. According to reports, the suspicion is based on previous knowledge of falsification of the balance sheet and breach of trust. The presumption of innocence applies to all parties involved.
Viennese tech company Frequentis fears for 31 million euros
The Vienna-based technology company Frequentis is one of the major customers of the Mattersburger Commerzialbank, shaken by a balance sheet scandal. Frequentis is holding deposits of approximately EUR 31 million with the Burgenland bank that is now being liquidated, the company said on Wednesday. The statutory deposit guarantee only applies to savers up to EUR 100,000.
“Frequentis is monitoring the situation very closely and evaluating all measures to protect their rights,” says the company, which offers facilities for secure communication. “With other banks, the Frequentis Group had deposits of more than EUR 56 million as of June 30, 2020.” The money lies both in banks in Austria and in other European countries as well as in Asia and America.
According to the governor of Burgenland, Hans Peter Doskozil (SPÖ), the Mattersburg commercial bank is to be liquidated. Many companies and individuals would “most likely lose a lot of money at the end of the day because of the balance sheet scandal,” the politician said at a press conference on Wednesday.
Frequentis examined possible effects immediately after the upheavals at Mattersburg-Bank became known: none of this had any impact on the operational business. “The operative business at Frequentis continues as usual. Despite the corona crisis, we are fully busy with orders,” said CFO Sylvia Bardach.
Mattersburg Bank at the end: Justice turned on
In Austria, banking supervision has closed a small bank again. The Commerzialbank Mattersburg in Burgenland AG has to shut down. The Financial Market Authority (FMA) has completely prohibited the “Commerzialbank Mattersburg im Burgenland AG” from continuing its business operations. A government commissioner was also appointed.
The government commissioner is the auditor Bernhard Mechtler. The decision, which was announced on Wednesday night, took effect immediately. The bank had once operated as Raiffeisenbank Schattendorf and had left the Raiffeisen sector in the mid-1990s.
The head of the small regional bank, Martin Pucher, is also the club manager of SV Mattersburg.
Suspicion of balance sheet falsification and breach of trust
At the Burgenland-based commercial bank Mattersburg, irregularities, which have now become apparent during an on-site inspection by the bank auditors, quickly followed. The CEO, Martin Pucher, immediately resigned his job yesterday after an initial survey. There should also be a voluntary declaration.
The guards have turned on the economic and corruption prosecutors.
According to reports, the suspicion is based on previous knowledge of falsification of the balance sheet and breach of trust.
Customers of the small bank (total assets: around EUR 800 million) do not have to worry about their saved savings, a FMA spokesman said on Wednesday that deposits of up to EUR 100,000 per person (also for small businesses) are secured.
Deposit guarantee case occurred immediately
The Mattersburger Commerzialbank has more than 400 million euros in covered deposits. The deposit guarantee is already active, the deposit guarantee case has already occurred. A bankruptcy does not have to be waited for, according to the APA.
As reported by the financial market regulator on Wednesday morning, the deposit guarantee case was triggered by the FMA’s payment freeze (prohibition of continuing business operations).
Even in the bank, no further deposits or withdrawals or transfers are possible.
The statutory deposit guarantee is responsible for paying out deposits.
Einlagensicherung Austria GmbH must pay out secured credit (current accounts, salary accounts, student accounts, pension accounts, savings accounts and savings accounts, securities clearing accounts and building society contracts) within 15 working days up to the legally fixed maximum amount.
Deposits including interest of up to EUR 100,000 per depositor and bank are secured.
As was announced today, the deposit guarantee for this is already in contact with the bank. Prepare to process the payment.
Affected depositors can also contact the deposit insurance by phone or e-mail: Phone: +43 (1) 533 98 03-0, via mail: [email protected]
The Commerzialbank Mattersburg case already lies with the judiciary. A spokesman for the Economic and Corruption Prosecutor’s Office confirmed the receipt of the notification by the Financial Market Authority (FMA) in the morning.
As previously reported, a review by the bank had identified irregularities in the balance sheet.
Lawyers were hired
Wess Kux Kispert & Eckert Rechtsanwälte GmbH has since announced that Martin Pucher has been entrusted with the cause: “Mr. Martin Pucher is interested in comprehensive and complete information to the investigating authorities. Mr. Martin Pucher already resigned from his position in the bank yesterday and will also leave his other board functions immediately. Mr. Martin Pucher will also ensure an orderly handover immediately with regard to his functions at SV Mattersburg. ”