Croatian National Bank: No Irregularity or Conflict of Interest in Vice Governor's Purchase of Property

By 16 February 2022
Croatian National Bank: No Irregularity or Conflict of Interest in Vice Governor's Purchase of Property
Image: Roman Šubić/Hrvatska Narodna Banka Facebook

ZAGREB, 16 Feb 2022 - Croatian National Bank's (HNB) Vice Governor Roman Šubić on Tuesday confirmed media reports about his purchase of a house in Zagreb below the market price, explaining that the advertisement of the sale of the property was made public and that transaction was in line with law.

He also underscored that the purchase of that villa was not in contravention of the rules on conflict of interest prevention.

Media outlets have reported that in late 2021, Šubić bought a 1,077-square-metre large villa in Zagreb's residential area of Gornji Stenjevec from a debt collection agency at the price of €230 per square metre, which was far below market price. Thus, he paid approximately €250,000, that is 1.9 million kuna, for that property, and he stated in his declaration of assets that the house's value is HRK 3.05 million.

Vice Governor Šubić coordinates and manages the Statistics Area and the Credit Institutions Resolution Office.

Following inquiries from HINA about a possible conflict of interest in this case, the central bank responded on Tuesday that Šubić is not authorised to sign HNB opinions on whether the planned sale to be conducted by a credit institution is in compliance with the existing regulations on the transactions of credit institutions. Therefore, he had not signed an opinion on the sale of the Gornji Stenjevec house, which media outlets have been reporting in recent days. 

The HNB also underscores that the scope of activities within the remit of the Credit Institutions Resolution Office have nothing in common with the activities of these transactions, specifically the sales and purchases between credit institutions and debt collection agencies. The HNB explains that it means that data on individual credit obligations of consumers were not available to Vice Governor Šubić.

The HNB elaborates that February 2021 was when Šubić got the information about the sale of that debt pertaining to the property via a digital classified advertisement on real estate, and also via the public auctions conducted by a municipal court in Zagreb. This means that there was public access to the pertaining information available.

Thus, all the interested parties had an opportunity to express their interest in buying the property.

The central bank also says that the purchase and sale agreement in this case was concluded in compliance wit the existing regulations.

Therefore, the purchase of that property cannot be viewed as an illegal transaction or a conflict of interest case.

The HNB also says that the below-the-market price was a result of the failure to sell the property at the two previous public auctions.

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