Hearts assets will transfer to second Lithuanian bank

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Lithuania’s Siauliu Bankas has confirmed that it will acquire the assets and liabilities of Hearts football club owner Vladimir Romanov’s bank, which was placed in administration last week.

The club has distanced itself from the troubles at Ukio, saying that Romanov’s shareholding in the club was via a separate investment company, Ukio Bankas Investment Group. However, Romanov has previously indicated that the failed Ukio provided the club with banking services and loans. Edinburgh-based Hearts has debts of about £24 million.

Audrius Ziugzda, chief executive of Siauliu, said in a statement: “The most important task now is to resume the provision of services to the former customers of Ukio Bankas. This will require considerable efforts and time which we are prepared to give.”

Siauliu is 20 per cent owned by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, which will provide €20m (£17.4m) to facilitate the takeover process. Ukio had deposits of 3.4 billion Lithuanian litas (£856m), while Siauliu will acquire assets and liabilities of 
2.7 billion litas.