ATHENS, April 4 (Reuters) - Cyprus-based lender RCB said on Monday it had never provided unsecured loans, in a reference to a report by Britain’s Guardian newspaper that it could have helped a small circle of Vladimir Putin’s friends amass fortunes.
“RCB Bank, as a principal (sic), did not and does not provide unsecured loans,” the bank said in an emailed statement.
“The Bank always acts in a transparent manner and all information about its activities is available to the relevant Cypriot and European authorities.”
Britain’s Guardian newspaper on Sunday alleged RCB and other banks extended ‘enormous unsecured loans’ to persons connected with Putin. It followed a massive leak of documents from a Panamanian law firm allegedly detailing ways hundreds of thousands of clients had evaded tax and laundered money spanning a period of almost 40 years.
Britain’s Guardian newspaper said the documents showed a network of secret offshore deals and loans worth $2 billion led to close friends of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Reuters could not independently confirm the allegations.
RCB is affiliated with VTB, a Russian state owned bank. (Reporting by Michele Kambas; Editing by Catherine Evans)