Ex-ATE banker denies wrongdoing over transfer abroad

A former ATEbank executive has admitted transferring several million euros abroad but denies that he has done anything wrong.

Theodoros Pantalakis, a former chief executive at the bank, admitted to the media over the weekend that he had transferred as much as 8 million euros to the UK for the purchase of property but said authorities had been notified and tax had been paid.

?I?m on holiday and I don?t plan to say anything more until I come back to Athens,? Pantalakis, who resigned last month, told the Financial Times on Sunday.

Pantalakis is due to testify before a parliamentary committee at the end of the month with regard to his role at ATEbank, whose healthy part was sold to Piraeus Bank last week. Pantalakis is likely to face questions about loans of some 150 million euros the bank made to PASOK and New Democracy as well as the management of ATE?s pension fund.

Bank of Greece governor Giorgos Provopoulos revealed to a parliamentary committee last week that accusations that an ATEbank official had moved 10 million euros abroad was being investigated by Greece?s anti-money laundering agency. He did not name Pantalakis.

“Nobody has suggested Mr Pantalakis sent the funds abroad illegally … But there is clearly an ethical issue since he was serving as the head of a big state bank at time of financial and economic crisis,? a Greek banker who declined to be identified told the Financial Times.