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‘Robin Hood Banker’ Steals From Rich Clients to Help the Poor


ASEAN NOW Content Team

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Gilberto Baschiera, the former manager of a bank in Forni di Sopra, a small town in Italy’s Dolomite Alps, has been nicknamed the “Robin Hood Banker” for taking around €1 million ($1.15 million) from rich savers’ accounts, over several years, to help poor people qualify for loans.

 

It all started in 2009, at the the height of the global financial crisis, when banks’ criteria for credit approval assessments changed. It was no longer about an overall assessment of the customer, but about the reliability of the client, which was established at the bank desk, on a computer. So when a local man came to Gilberto Baschiera’s office asking for a small loan, and the bank manager saw that he didn’t qualify according to the new criteria, he felt sorry for him. Instead of turning him away like most bank managers would have done, Baschiera took some money out of the account of a wealthy client, and added it to the poor man’s account, so that he would qualify. But this was only the beginning of Gilberto Baschiera’s career as a modern-day Robin Hood of the banking world.

 

It didn’t take long for news of the bank manager’s generosity to spread through Forni di Sopra, a relatively small community of around 1,000 people, and other locals started turning to him for aid with qualifying for loans. He helped them just like he did that first one, by taking money out of rich clients’ accounts, but told them all to repay these sums quickly, so he could cover his tracks. They all happily agreed, but not all of them repaid their debts, leaving Baschiera exposed. After seven years, his exploits as the “Robin Hood Banker” were discovered, and he was sentenced to two years in prison for his crimes.

 

Luckily for our hero, the fact that he didn’t take one cent of the money he siphoned from rich clients’ accounts for himself, and that this was his first criminal offence made a huge difference. As part of a plea deal, Gilberto Baschiera received a suspended sentence, and will not be serving any actual jail time. Still, his story did not have a happy end. According the his lawyer, Roberto Mete, Baschiera lost both his job and his house, which was confiscated by the state.

 

“He thinks he wouldn’t do it again,” Mr Mete told BBC. “He was convinced he could help people. But now he’s lost his job and his own home”.

 

“He wanted to help people who couldn’t access loans the normal way,” Baschiera’s lawyer added. “He created a kind of shadow financing system, he trusted that the people he was helping were going to be able to pay back, and some of them didn’t. He explained to authorities why he had done it, and that he thought the people he was helping would manage to pay back the money”.

 

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Whats new, you are a Robin and then there will be real thieves, dont mind to pay back. Same story as with the Thai school teacher, some time ago. Strange though the rich didnt notice for 7 years !!

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2 hours ago, xtrnuno41 said:

Whats new, you are a Robin and then there will be real thieves, dont mind to pay back. Same story as with the Thai school teacher, some time ago. Strange though the rich didnt notice for 7 years !!

It is plausible. Here in Singapore, there was a case of the banker using the funds of her Indonesian client in millions of $ for years. Reason the client did not find out was the banker printed out bogus statements each time the client asked for it. Hard copy not internet statement. 

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While the article refers to him as a hero I am sure the "rich" clients he took the money from did not think him a hero but a thief. He should have used his own money or fudged the banks to loan requirements but instead, he used the bank's clients money. Thief, plain and simple. 

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