Former bank manager Gilberto Baschiera has lost his job and a house and was also sentenced for two solid years for the kind, but criminal act of stealing money from the accounts of wealthy savers to help poor savers qualify for loan. It earned him a nickname, the “Robin Hood Banker”.
According to the bank, Gilberto Baschiera adopted his unconventional banking conduct at 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.
What the manager did was that, when pensioners and poor people approached him for loan, instead of denying them access due to their obvious inability to pay back, he would take money from the accounts of rich savers and deposit in the accounts of the poor loan seekers to make them qualify for the loan.
Over the years he has succeeded in taking around €1 million ($1.15 million) from rich savers’ accounts, to help poor people qualify for loans. When they’re now qualified for the loan, he would then grant them the loans and warn them to make sure they paid according to the terms. Many other heard of the help he was giving and they wanted to take their share. Unfortunately for him, some of the people defaulted in the loan payments and after seven years his deeds came to light.
Unfortunately for him, some of the people defaulted in the loan payments and after seven years his deeds came to light.
Gilberto was sentenced for two years, but upon appeal, his sentence got suspended due to the fact that he did not steal the monies for his personal use and also, it happened to be his first criminal offense.
His lawyer, Roberto Mete is quoted as having told the BBC that:
“He wouldn’t do it again. 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. 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”.
Meanwhile, Gilberto Baschiera after losing his job and forfeiting his house to the state has regretted, saying given the chance he would act with diligence in future because he though that the banking system has abandoned pensioners with the minimum and young people without resources, he was only trying to help those in need.