OREANDA-NEWS. April 11, 2014. According to the most recent Bankruptcy Administrator's report, the amount recovered by the team of Snoras Bankruptcy Administrator before the beginning of the year amounted to LTL 1.9 billion, including LTL 119 million in the final quarter of last year.

The reporting period saw the beginning of the sale process of loan book portfolio - the biggest part of the bank's assets, the continuation of loans administration and the sale of foreclosed real estate and the movable property owned by the bank.

During the reporting period Snoras Bankruptcy Administrator has successfully completed the sale of 10 immovable property objects in Lithuania and recovered LTL 10 million for the bank. Another LTL 0.8 million have been recovered through the sale of Snoras movable property during the three months covered by the report. Auctions for minor movable properties (furniture, equipment, etc.) are held at the bank on a weekly basis.

"All the key processes of the bank's bankruptcy have already gained momentum, the majority have either already been completed, or are rapidly approaching completion - we are actively finalizing the Finasta sale transaction and we are in the penultimate stage of loans portfolio sale. Considering the complexity, geography and the prevailing context of the process, I am very satisfied with the progress of Snoras bankruptcy and the results achieved," said Neil Cooper, Snoras Bankruptcy Administrator.

During the reporting period, payments to Snoras creditors amounted to LTL 375 million, including the completion of payments to first-rank creditors and the commencement of payments to second-rank creditors.  In January this year the court has authorised the second schedule of payments, the payment of further LTL 500 million to second-rank creditors has commenced thereunder. Upon completion of the payments, the total sum paid to creditors shall amount to LTL 934 million.

According to Neil Cooper, active sale of the property formerly owned by Snoras and foreclosed is currently under way in foreign countries. Before the bank was declared bankrupt, it owned 4 real estate property objects in France, Latvia and the Ukraine, further 11 immovable property objects have been foreclosed from the bank's debtors on Estonia and Russia; all are presently offered for sale.

Personnel reduced by further 10%

Bankruptcy Administrator renewed employment contracts with the Snoras 134 employees starting from the 1st of February while four others are on parental or maternity leave. The headcount of the bank was cut by 10% compared with early last year. The bank now employs ten times fewer people than before declaration of bankruptcy, when the headcount was 1,400 including those who then were on parental leave.

Some of bank's employees work part-time, which further reduces headcount to 128.25 full time jobs based on a full working day equivalent.

"We are reviewing the accountabilities of staff regularly to match them to the bank's functions, which are being reduced consistently. This is our way to optimise internal processes and to ensure fluent liquidation procedures within the best interests of the bank's creditors," said Neil Cooper.

All renewed employment contracts with Snoras staff have a fixed term and are being signed for varied periods depending on the job position. One-fourth of all remaining staff is now employed by the bank's ten divisions around Lithuania. Snoras still has divisions operating in Alytus, Kaunas, Marijampole, Klaipeda, Mazeikiai, Siauliai, Taurage, Panevezys, Utena and Vilnius. Their activities have centred on supervision and administration of the loan portfolio.

During the reporting period Snoras operation costs in connection with personnel, premises, bank systems and branches amounted to LTL 6.9 million.

LTL 2.4 billion worth of Snoras assets presently in courts

In the near future Snoras Bankruptcy Administrator plans to close the sale of Finasta - the transaction has already reached the final stage, the sale of loans portfolio will also continue. Active sale of the property formerly owned by the bank or foreclosed is also in progress both in Lithuania and abroad.

"We continue making payments to second-rank creditor under the schedule approved by court; we will carry out the payments until the full amount authorised by court has been paid out, based on the amount of funds accumulated at the bank", said Neil Cooper.

Together with lawyers and employees of the bank, the Bankruptcy Administrator continues the supervision of court proceedings in Lithuania and abroad. 

According to the Bankruptcy Administrator, active examination of potential claims against Julius Bar bank is under way in Switzerland, the volume of evidence and additional information collected by Swiss institutions in the process of the investigation is growing. Efforts are made to recover LTL 829 million of Snoras assets possibly misappropriated by Julius Bar bank.

The combined amount of outstanding legal claims in the Snoras bankruptcy proceedings is roughly LTL 2.4 billion. The purpose of the claims is the recovery of assets and property of the bank from the former key shareholders and related persons and funds. The team of Neil Cooper has secured the issue by worldwide freezing order to a value of LTL 1.7 billion, which was secured against the assets of one of the former Snoras shareholders.