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The Central Bank yesterday deprived of licenses four sizeable banks
There is hardly any chance for another Russian banking crisis, reassure finance analysts. "Not the slightest reason to expect it. Right, the Central Bank has stripped four problem banks of their licenses-so what? Are we to whip up passions again over it?" Gareghin Tosunyan, Russian Banking Association (RBA) President, angrily said. Forecasts of a recent banking crisis relapsing make front-page news, but merely because mass media are starving for sensations, as is usually the case in summertime, with its vacations. "The media are dying of boredom-that's the only reason for their apprehensions," is how Mr. Tosunyan sees the matter. The Central Bank yesterday deprived of licenses four sizeable banks-the Commercial Savings Bank, Promeximbank, Moszhilstroibank, and the RICOM commercial bank. Many think the thunderbolt of July 29 ushers in a big banking purge by the Central Bank of Russia. "No one has the slightest intention to make whatever purges, and don't you pile accusations on the Central Bank," said the RBA head. Public disbelief of bankers has given start to healthy skepticism and so is bolstering up Russian banks. "The recent developments increased our immunity, so media outlets, fraudulent competitors and others have really to go to all lengths if they are out to send depositors into a panic," he reasons. "Russian banks are not doomed to another crisis. Liquidity is quite safe, and minor deposit outflow from the smaller banks to the Savings Bank and other government banks has not got on a panicky scale. Last but not least, depositors are standing by such banks as have proved to be steadily afloat," says another major expert-Alexander Khandruyev, BFI consulting group chief, and recent Central Bank vice-president. "Much now depends on what finance authorities choose to do. There will be no bad upheavals if they are duly circumspect. The [Central] Bank of Russia has certainly learned a due lesson from its own recent bungles." As Mr. Khandruyev sees the matter, the Central Bank is really determined not to make headlong moves. That was why it took time before depriving of licenses the four ill-starred banks. "I am divulging a little secret-the Central Bank knew what it was doing when it failed to make the depriving of licenses public even after it was done. Its president took time before signing the respective resolution. He was right-the delay made things calm down." The Central Bank of Russia will cling to the tactics, he is sure. "No one will hear a word about the banks which the banking control committee dooms. The committee will merely shelf its decisions for later sessions." Khandruyev regards deposit insurance, which will get going in Russia within the year, a major guarantee against banking panic. "The depositors will have enough time to take stock of the situation before bank selection for the insurance network is over. Each will have at least a hundred thousand rubles safe-they will keep his money in several banks, so the danger of losing the whole money will be negligible," he forecasts.
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