BOFIT Viikkokatsaus / BOFIT Weekly 2017/51

Last Friday (Dec. 15), the CBR announced it would start measures to prevent the bankruptcy of Promsvyazbank, the country's ninth largest bank and also one of the banks considered systemically important.

The bank's troubles have long been suspected, so market reactions were limited. Promsvyazbank is one of four large Russian private banks that have been enveloped in speculation during this year. Of them, Otkritie Bank was bailed out in August and Binbank in September. Moscow Credit Bank received additional capital in October from a share issue and long-term deposits from Rosneft. In recent years, these banks have expanded aggressively by e.g. participating in the resolution of other banks and providing currency financing for Russian firms affected by Western sanctions.

The systemic impact of these troubled banks should remain modest, however, as each only holds about 2–3 % of the banking sector's total assets. Preliminary CBR estimates suggest that that the recapitalisation of the three above-mentioned banks will require about 1 trillion rubles (14 billion euros). Russia's banking sector is dominated by large state-owned banks and many of them have also received government support in recent years amidst a weak economy.