Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Running of the Banks: AUB

Usually revolutions begin with the running of the banks. In this case it came after the revolution. The collapse of my bank and the freezing of my account does not make me very happy. Economically it seems Kyrgyzstan is turning into a Banana Republic without the benefit of any bananas.

Last night a friend called me and asked me what was up with Asian Universal Bank (AUB). I said I did not know, but that it was the bank in which I kept my money. Granted it is not much money, only $1,711, but still enough to worry about. I then called a couple of students and ex-students to ask. The overall picture I got was bad and I decided to go the next morning and withdraw my money. I got to the bank at ten minutes to nine and they opened a little after nine. However, they refused to allow me to withdraw any money. People with normal bank accounts, i.e. people who are not rich can not touch any of their money indefinitely. People with Deposit Accounts, that is rich people may take out up to 100,000 som (about $2,000). The bank was evidently looted by Maxim Bakiev and has no insurance outside of Kyrgyzstan. There were a lot of angry people in the bank. I signed a petition to the procurator, but I doubt that it will do any good. So currently I am out a fair chunk of change. If you see Maxim Bakiev tell him he owes me and a lot of other people some dough.

Fortunately, I have enough money at home to last until my next pay check without any problem. The bank told me I would eventually get my money, but they were not sure when. It could be anywhere from two to six months. But, given the complete lack of any law currently in Kyrgyzstan it is quite possible that I will never get my money back.

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