Lawyers to confront Russian Standard Bank

The public activists of Nizhniy Tagil, Sverdlovsk Region, have finished collecting signatures for the petition to the Russian Federation Public Prosecutor’s Office, the President of the Russian Federation Dmitriy Medvedev’s Administration, and Rospotrebnadzor (the state consumer rights watchdog) that calls for looking into the business activity of Russian Standard Bank. The petition was designed by Nizhniy Tagil branch of Russia’s Young Lawyers, a pressure group.


The branch’s head Evgeniy Ryakin says 133 signatures were collected within one week, so the petition will soon be sent to the addressees by post.


Ryakin reports they have been getting plenty of complaints regarding the methods the bank in question employs to collect loan debt. What is more, the lawyers detected numerous violations of the Russian Federation Civil Code in the way the bank’s loan agreements are arranged.


‘We literally made a war-cry for the signatures, and even got new complaints in this week. One woman said the bank suggested that she should sell her kidney in order to pay off the loan,’ he says.


‘We started helping various banks’ customers on a pro bono basis in August 2009. Since then, we’ve had many people complain about Russian Standard Bank, particularly about the bank’s debt-collecting practices. For one, the bank’s representatives keep on calling the debtors, even at night; they send threatening letters and sometimes visit in person. These actions are often illegitimate. For example, the bank’s letters refer to some articles of the Criminal Code that allegedly state a non-paying debtor must go to jail. This is just not true, as a breach of contract is handled within the civil relations scope and leads to civil liability, but by no means to criminal one. We have placed our claims with Nizhniy Tagil court and we are prepared to fight to the end,’ Evgeniy Ryakin informed UrBC.


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