Foto: Eugene Kozlovsky / Pixabay.com.

The National Bank of Ukraine is losing employees and department heads, raising concerns about the integrity of the bank.

In the past days, several employees and department heads have resigned from their jobs in the National Bank of Ukraine. This has made the concerns about the NBU independency and professionalism even worse.

According to the Kyiv Post, some of them said that the new governor of the NBU, Shevchenko, has an “autocratic” leadership style making it difficult to “fulfill its mandate of keeping the financial system stable,” as Kyiv Post writes.

“We sincerely love the NBU and want to continue working there,” said Oleksandr Bevz, the now-former director of the licensing department. “However, it’s currently impossible to continue our work in the National Bank. The centralization of decision-making in one pair of hands, the replacement of collegiality with directive decision-making, are in our opinion, unacceptable.”

Bevz was the first to resign three days ago. His entire team walked out with him. According to Bevz, the NBU no longer lives up to their standards of transparency, independence and department autonomy.

After that, the former director of the NBU financial stability department announced his resignation, then the director of the credit support department did the same. Then a head of real sector risk analysis division in the financial stability department and a project and program head of the licensing department followed.

Long time coming

The trouble in NBU has been on the way for long. It all started in June last year, when Yakiv Smolii resigned as the head of the bank. Back then, he cited political pressure from the Presidential Office as the reason for his resignation.

This caused a lot of concern. Not just in the world of finance, but also in the international investment and anti-corruption community. Up until that point, NBU had been a poster child for the reform movement in Ukraine, as it had been not only reformed successfully, but also had helped to carry out important reforms of the – at the time – ineffective banking sector in Ukraine.

Following Smolii’s resignation, the board was slowly replaced as contracts ran out, and the top management is now completely replaced by a new group of people. It is unclear right now, how much independence NBU has kept through this process.