Speculation is rife that Iraq’s Warka Bank has collapsed, but its managing director said that it has not collapsed but has faced problems due to a recent decision of the Iraqi government to withdraw over $1.6 billion from the bank.
The Iraqi government recently decided to withdraw its money from all private banks, leading to media reports that Warka Bank had collapsed, according to a report from AKnews.
Speaking during a press conference in Sulaimaniya, Mohammed Hussein said, “Warka Bank has not collapsed. It is just some problems we are facing which will be resolved soon and we will resume our work in a better way.”
He said the Iraqi Trade Ministry owes $250 million to the bank but has failed to return the money because of the changes in the leadership of the ministry.
On his part, Dler Mohammed, the head of Warka’s branch in Kurdistan said the Iraqi minister of finance has agreed to give a loan of around $64 million to the bank.
He added several British and Lebanese companies have also agreed to buy shares in Warkaa but did not provide the names of the companies.
Mohammed said following the government’s decision, the Iraqi Public Vehicle Company withdrew around $680 million from the bank, and citizens withdrew around $1 billion.
“During talks with officials at Kurdistan’s Ministry of Finance, they promised us to return the pensions for retired government personnel to Warka Bank,” said Mohammed.
Warka bank was established in 1999 and currently is one of the largest private banks in Iraq with 120 branches all over the country.
Al Sumaria News quotes a spokesman for the bank as saying that the bank “is supported by the Central Bank of Iraq and can not talk about bankruptcy”, and added that the rumours were an attempt by the bank's competitors to tarnish its reputation.
(Sources: AKnews, Al Sumaria)