Raiffeisen CEO Offers to Quit over Offshore LeaksWorld | May 25, 2013, Saturday // 10:47| views
Herbert Stepic, photo by BGNES
Herbert Stepic, CEO of Raiffeisen Bank International, one of the largest banks operating in Eastern Europe, has offered to resign after his personal investments in Asian real estate came under increasing scrutiny.
He said in a statement, he made the decision because inquiries into his investments and recent news reports about them threatened to damage Raiffeisen's reputation.
Earlier this week, an Austrian magazine reported that Stepic used companies in the British Virgin Islands - Yatsenko Int, and Hong Kong - Takego Holdings, to buy property offshore without informing his employer.
The information stems from the journalists' investigation known as Offshore Leaks.
In the statement, Stepic explained that the companies mentioned by the reports were not "offshore constructions" and all the investments were made with income that had already been taxed in Austria.
"Secondly, these are actual real estate investments that were processed through investment companies. I have no reservations in disclosing these facts to the relevant authorities," he said.
Stepic built his reputation in Austria's banking sector when he started Raiffeisen's expansion into Eastern Europe, a step that turned a local Austrian lender into one of the biggest banks in the region. Raiffeisen opened its first business in Eastern Europe in 1987, in Hungary, years before the collapse of Communism in 1989.
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