Iraq names Trade Bank president
Former bank chief fled after allegations of improprieties; New head was adviser at Iraq's Rafidain Bank
July 17, 2011 3:52 by p.deleon
Iraq’s government has appointed Hamdiya al-Jaf as chairwoman and president of state-owned Trade Bank of Iraq after its former manager fled the country due to alleged irregularities, a bank official said on Sunday.
Jaf, who moves up from adviser at the government’s Rafidain Bank, replaces Hussein al-Uzri, who was accused by the government of committing “multiple violations” costing millions of dollars. Uzri denied the charges.
Set up in 2003 after the U.S.-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein, TBI has developed into one of Iraq’s largest and most profitable financial institutions.
Uzri fled Iraq after Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki ordered a judicial inquiry into TBI when a committee, including officials from the anti-corruption commission and audit authority, reported financial violations at the institution.
In a Reuters interview, Uzri said the allegations were fabricated and called himself a victim of a power grab by people close to Maliki.
TBI, which has 14 branches across Iraq, reported assets of $15 billion for 2010, a 16 percent increase over 2009. In May it reported an 18 percent increase in 2010 profits to $361 million.
The bank is involved in financing purchases for the food ration programme and securing private sector financing for power and other reconstruction projects.
(Reporting by Aseel Kami; Editing by Jim Loney and David Hulmes)