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Behind the Veil: Investors Fight to Revive Embattled Migom Bank

Behind the Veil: Investors Fight to Revive Embattled Migom Bank
George Turner

This December marks the anniversary of Migom Bank losing its correspondent banking network and its unfortunate venture into Baltic International Bank — a situation complicated by a Latvian authority’s raid. During this period, the bank’s leadership has been notably silent, leaving clients unsure about Migom’s direction. However, there are signs that the bank might be on the path to recovery.

Recent months have seen a concerted move by a group of investors, including Migom’s founders, to reclaim the helm of the bank’s parent company. Their goal is to rejuvenate the bank with fresh capital, enhance customer service, and restart the bank’s operations in licensed cryptocurrency activities. Insiders have been openly discussing this initiative’s progress and the challenges faced during this takeover bid.

Legally, significant shifts have occurred in the bank’s ownership and control structure. Thomas Schaetti, previously the president and a dominant shareholder of Migom’s Austrian holding company, has reportedly been displaced. This shift is pivotal, as the Austrian entity dictates the policies and procedures for the American holding company that exercises control over the bank. Schaetti’s removal, which supposedly took place in November, was expected to usher in a series of improvements at Migom, aiming to revitalize its operations. 

Despite these organizational changes, it appears Schaetti still wields influence: he is accused of creating hurdles in transferring shares to the new owners and hindering the bank’s transition. These obstructions include delays in updating the Austrian Commercial Register, withholding critical information necessary for accessing the bank’s financial accounts, and a breakdown in communication with the bank’s regulators in Dominica. Additionally, Schaetti is suspected of attempting to dismantle the bank’s staff and close its offices in Dominica, further complicating the transition.

The exact reasons behind Schaetti’s alleged obstruction are speculative. It could relate to an anticipated audit by new investors, the requirement to restart SEC reporting halted since 2022, or the renewal of the bank’s Dominican license planned for this December. This lack of financial transparency raises two questions: What are Schaetti’s motives, and who would benefit from Migom potentially losing its license and getting tangled in a web of legal investigations?

However, the new shareholders remain undaunted. Austrian legal mechanisms seem to provide a way to complete the share transfer, albeit with likely court involvement. Despite Schaetti’s resistance, the investors are committed to their takeover and reshaping the bank. Their determination is echoed by Dominica’s financial regulators, who have expressed full support for the proposed reforms and Migom’s recapitalization plans. 

The broader banking community, along with Migom Bank’s clientele, eagerly anticipate the bank’s resurgence. As the crypto market shows signs of rebounding from its slump, the demand for robust neobanking services is set to surge. In this context, Migom Bank is poised for a ‘phoenix moment,’ with the potential to reclaim its status as a success story — and write a new chapter.


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