Thursday, June 21, 2018

Ural area banks address closure rumors at regional press conference

Representatives from Ural area banking institutions held a press conference on Friday morning at Itar-Tass to address the growing rumors that a large number of area credit institutions will soon close.

The panel of bank representatives was comprised of Ural Bank for Reconstruction and Development President Anton Solovyov, Ural Bank of Sberbank Chair Vladimir Cherkashina, SKB Chair Ilya Zibareva, Central Bank of Russia Regional Head Irina Petrova, Ural Bank Union Chair Valentina Muranovo and Dmitry Nozhenko, the head of the Ministry Economy of the Sverdlovsk region.

Petrova was the first to speak at the press conference, which began at noon. In her opening remarks, Petrova characterized the rumors that regional banks are on the verge of closing as a malicious attack due to the deliberate dissemination of false information via text message.

"We will cooperate with law enforcement agencies on this issue," Petrova said. "All banks in the Sverdlovsk region are stable, with no restrictions and comply with all its obligations. The situation is stable. I want to apply separately to the residents of Tavda, Kamenska Ural and Nizhny Tagil and emphasize that SMS delivery was false. Urge you not to yield to provocations."

After Petrova's address, Nozhenko informed the reporters that the regional Ministry of Economy has been working with area banks over the past two days to officially ascertain their financial health.

"All the banks are stable," Nozhenko said. "Yesterday [Prime Minister] Denis Pasler held a meeting at which it was decided to support the banking sector, to work with the public institutions. The regional government is working and will work with the banks, all the payroll will remain in the bank."

Muronovo appealed to regional business leaders on behalf of the Ural Bank Union not to lose confidence in area banks as a result of the rumors.

"... (I) advise not to cut the branch on which we sit," Muronovo said. "Deposits in banks go to the development of the economy and help to regulate the situation with the cost of food. It all depends on how the situation is stable, including banks."

Solovyov explained that even if there were a crisis among regional banks, customer deposits are protected by the Deposit Insurance Act and will not be forfeited in the event of a bank closure.

"I would like to note the high consolidation of the banking community and the very fast response of the Central Bank, which indicated that it was a criminal attack," Zebari said at the conclusion of the conference. "I also want to note the high rate of reaction of the government. I am sure that those who worked on this information attack, the next time will think whether we should do it. As for the bank, the situation has improved--customers return the money on deposit. Yesterday in SKB-Bank inflow was generally average. We look at it as an additional stress test, we braved it and continue to work steadily..."