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Lithuanian Central Bank Fires Regulator After Snoras Takeover

Lithuania’s Central Bank Governor Vitas Vasiliauskas fired Kazimieras Ramonas, head of the banking supervision department, after seizing Bankas Snoras AB, the country’s third-biggest deposit bank.

Ramonas was fired for “inappropriate performance and excessive bureaucracy while performing his official duties,” the central bank said in a statement on its website today.

Ramonas became the third regulator in Lithuania and Latvia to leave his job after the failure of Snoras and its Latvian subsidiary Latvijas Krajbanka AS. Latvia’s chief banking regulator, Irena Krumane, said she would resign on Nov. 28 and Janis Placis, head of supervision at the country’s regulator, submitted his resignation on Nov. 25.

The Lithuanian central bank last week decided to liquidate Snoras after the estimated size of missing assets rose to 3.4 billion litai ($1.3 billion). Krajbanka may be missing about 100 million lati ($193 million), according to Latvia’s bank regulator. Krajbanka depositors yesterday began to receive payouts from a state deposit insurance fund for deposits held at the lender.

The Lithuanian government took over Snoras on Nov. 16 after the central bank discovered that assets reported on the bank’s balance sheet were missing. Former owners Vladimir Antonov and Raimondas Baranauskas were released on bail by a U.K. court on Nov. 24 after being detained in London on a Lithuanian arrest warrant.

Antonov “strenuously denies dishonesty in any of his dealings,” Rachel Scott, his lawyer, told the court. “He doesn’t impose a serious flight risk.”

The men are accused of stealing about 879 million litai through forgery and misappropriation, U.K. prosecutor Natalie Soule said. They allegedly forged documents to show false deposits in unspecified Swiss banks, according to Soule.

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