Moscow Arbitration Court has ruled monitoring procedures regarding NPF Socium, whish is part of Oleg Deripaska’s Basic Element holding. The decision was made at the request of Contribution –Syberia (Vklad-Sibir) Ltd. NPF has to pay for Contribution –Syberia services in attracting customers in mandatory pension insurance (OPS).
Bankruptcy proceeding in respect of the pension fund is a precedent in the history of mandatory pension insurance. The fund is unlikely to be declared bankrupt, experts say. This situation is should be regarded as a continuation of series of scandals around private pension funds, the business of which is concentrated in acquiring about one trillion rubles of pension funds under management of the state. This market is becoming more attractive causing a growth of competition in this market segment. Pension Fund of Russia imposed a ban on the acceptance of contracts concluded by agents of private pension funds, because of the frequent fraud by agents of the NPF while concluding agreements. Subsequently, the ban was lifted, but the requirements for private pension funds and methods they use to attract customers were tightened.
According to The Russian Mafia web-site (rumafia.com), Contribution –Syberia was denied payment of agency fees precisely because of the fraudulent contracts. Socium claims that 458 contracts submitted by the agent were falsified. In addition, the agent violated the terms for reporting. NPF argument in court was the standard agency fee, according to which detection of at least one case of falsification enables the fund not to pay for all the rest contracts in the report. However, the accusation of fraud was not satisfied by the court because the fund reported it after Contribution – Siberia filed the lawsuit. At the same time the agency agreement provided that Socium was supposed to notify the agent of the identified fraud within three working days. Furthermore, according to the court, the private pension fund has not provided sufficient evidence of the facts of falsification.
Socium is planning to appeal against the court rulling on the grounds that it was unreasonable and serious procedural violations took place.