Interfax: Fears for Russian banking sector stability “groundless” – Central Bank head

Elvira Nabiullina file photo

(Interfax – Moscow, December 18, 2013) Russia’s banking sector has improved its financial indicators in 2013 and concerns over its stability are groundless, Elvira Nabiullina, chairwoman of the Central Bank of Russia, said on Wednesday [18 December] at a conference organized by the Association of Russian Banks.

“Concerns over the stability of Russia’s banking sector are absolutely groundless,” she said.

Nabiullina once again denied suggestions that there were so-called “blacklists” of banks, whose licences the Central Bank was allegedly planning to revoke.

“As you know, there have recently been circulating so-called ‘blacklists’ and rumours about alleged problems experienced by certain banks. I am ready to once again declare it a lie,” she said.

“In terms of resilience to various risks, the [Russian] banking system has even improved its indicators somewhat, compared to the previous year. Russia’s Central Bank pursues a policy of further strengthening the banking sector,” Nabiullina stressed.

She also noted that the revocation of licences from some banks is “a compulsory and necessary part of the regulator’s work in every country”. According to her, banks whose licences were revoked by the Central Bank of Russia earlier this year accounted for less than 1 per cent of the banking system assets and less than 1 per cent of all deposits. [Passage omitted]

[Last week the Central Bank withdrew the licences of three banks on the list of the country’s 200 largest banks. The move came less than a month after the licence of Master-bank, a major retail bank, was also revoked.]