CBR continued to clean up the banking system: in the center of the intrigue – “Alfa-Bank”

The Bank of Russia continues large-scale clearing of the banking sector from troubled players. Among the offenders were not only small banks, but also large lending institutions. However, experts believe that under the banner of “anti money laundering” often there is a banal redistribution of the market.

photo: Natalia Muslinkina

Work on the bugs

Over the past 25 years, the banking sector of the Russian Federation has experienced several big waves of revocation of licenses. The first tsunami after the acute liquidity deficit was recorded in 1996. The second “ninth wave” provoked the Russian government, announcing in August 1998 defaulted on t-bills. The third “sweep” was launched in 2004 because of the confidence crisis on the interbank market. And finally, the last, the fourth, began in 2013 with arrival on a post of the head of the Central Bank Elvira Nabiullina declared war on banks-violators. Since then, licenses have lost more than 350 banks.

As explained by associate Professor of financial markets and financial engineering of Ranhigs Sergei hestanov, the reasons for the scale “clearing” of the banking market need to look at the past: “In the early’ 90s, years before the 1998 banking license cost is ridiculously cheap, sometimes cheaper “Lady” 6-th model. In the result, we have a excessive number of banks, mostly small and ineffective. In fact, the Central Bank corrects the errors of twenty years ago”.

The regulator had to solve complex issues, he said. On the one hand, it took considerable resources for the rehabilitation. On the other, the collapse of the banks from the list of systemically threatened by the chain collapse of the banking system. After all, credit institutions correspondent relations are linked, and if a large Bank is experiencing problems, it will definitely affect his partners. “A universal solution to this problem was, and CB, in my opinion, chose the lesser evil,” concluded hestanov.

Interestingly, errors of the Central Bank is paid by the taxpayers. For the salvation of the national system were printed trillions of virtually any, which led to the risk of the ruble and impoverishment of the population. After the Bank failures, many depositors lost savings accounts. Particularly affected entities. It is clear that “Stripping” undermined confidence in the banking system and hit to the reputation of the Central Bank.

Manipulation of the market

The situation in the banking market escalated last summer, when “reeled” banks of the top 15. It is significant that the next repartition of the market began with notes in the leading business newspaper in the country. Analyst Sergey Gavrilov from the criminal code “Alfa Capital” empty sector information about the challenges the Bank “Opening”, “Binbank”, “Moscow credit Bank” and “Promsvyazbank”. According to his forecast, the question with four banks, who are in the risk zone, “will be finally resolved” by the autumn, “and not after the election of the President of Russia in 2018, as many think”.

After the scandalous publication, the nerves of depositors and owners of companies passed. I started to panic. In a short time citizens and legal entities withdrew from their accounts hundreds of billions of virtually any. Huge outflow of money has strengthened a series of information attacks on banks, especially on PSB. Interestingly, the alpha group, which was the source of the information circulated in the business newspaper, where she was the victim of media attacks.

We will remind, in the summer of 2004 in the newspaper “Kommersant” published an article, which reported on the queues of depositors at the offices of “Alfa-Bank”. Note, in the opinion of the Bank, caused an outflow of capital. To stop him, “Alfa-Bank” has introduced a 10% fee for withdrawal of funds due to early termination of the contract of Bank Deposit (with alarmist “alfovtsy” then you gathered $4 million). At the same time sued the newspaper in court, which for undermining business reputation recovered from the publishing house in favour of the Bank 320,5 million roubles of compensation. The entire annual revenue of the publisher.

In the summer of 2017 on “alpha” no one in the court is not filed. The Bank and PSB have described the actions of “officers” as “an attempt to conduct unfair competition”. “Such letters can be considered as a prerequisite for market manipulation and should be subject to a review of the Central Bank… Any careless evaluation may disturb the market”, — said the President of the Association “Russia” Anatoly Aksakov. “Not a single financial company, even a perfectly reliable, will not be able to withstand such an outflow of money”, — declared the Director of analytical Department of “Alpari” Alexander Razuvaev. In the end, three of the four banks named in the material analyst Gavrilova, came under reorganization of the Central Bank. As the water analyst looked! Or as someone wanted.

Citizens and business owners did not understand on what basis the regulator is one private banks graciously throws a “lifeline”, and others — brutally beats the “paddle back”. For example, as explained in the “secret” letter to the state Duma, first Deputy Chairman of the Central Bank Dmitry Tulin, the “Discovery” of saved because he is a systemically important Bank, the Bank was a systemically important Bank de facto. But the “Yugra” was not a systemically important Bank. But by what criterion defines de facto? Capital or on order?

Recently appeared on the market rumors that in the summer of 2017, “alpha” decided on the “informational impact” with respect to the four banks of the top-15 at the unspoken request of some interested leaders of the Central Bank. There is a version that the “work” of “alpha” has promised not only a pardon from sin, but also a bonus. What we do not know. For example, Bank “the Renaissance”. After he will be placed under the temporary administration of the Central Bank. About this possible outcome of fate “Revival” reported, for example, the sources of the newspaper “Kommersant”.

However, not everyone agrees with this version. “I don’t believe in conspiracy theories and feel the skepticism. This is most likely a coincidence. If 5-7 years ago in the retail sector, the share of banks with state participation was less than 50%, now it is almost exactly equal to the share of government in the economy. Namely, about 70%. We have the nationalization of the economy and the banking system reflects this process”, — said Chestnov.

In a steel embrace

The nationalization of the economy, indeed, is the case. Particularly active in this process, the state-owned banks, which take a laid attractive assets have firmly stood yesterday on the feet of private companies. Rarely agree on debt restructuring. On investment loans long no one wants. Keep up with state-owned banks and their private competitors.

So, in October 2017, it received a great response to litigation, “Alfa-Bank” with businessman Alexei Hominem, which acted as the guarantor for the credit agreements of their several companies. The Bank doubted the ability of the entrepreneur to perform its obligations due to the termination of operation of the Bank “Ugra”, considering its financial position is deteriorating, and demanded that he or his structure back early loans. The term of the loan agreement expired two months later, in December 2017.

Interesting position. The borrower, despite problems, continues to fully perform its obligations under the loan, does not admit of delay, but the Bank over two months (!) before the end of the contract requires a court to repay the loan. Is the main goal of “Alfa-Bank” is taking the opportunity, while the borrower is “knocked down” to foreclose on his property? In the end, the parties entered into a settlement agreement.

If in our country there was a ranking of the most acclaimed in the media environment of banks “Alfa-Bank” would be in it in a leading position. This credit punctually is in the midst of a major economic conflicts. And the action was extremely aggressive. “Steel credit arms”, “officers” have already experienced “Mechel”, “UTair”, “Nizhnevartovskneftegaz”, the group “Copernicus” and even state “Uralvagonzavod”. In 2015 “alfovtsy” persistently sought bankruptcy of the strategic enterprises.

A night of laughter

In an episode of Comedy programs “ProjectorParisHilton” the leaders recalled how last year, speaking at the international discussion club “Valdai” in Sochi, President Putin told a sad anecdote about a bankrupt tycoon. And “warming up” jokes all of a sudden remembered sitting in front of Peter Aven. As you know, Aven is Chairman of the Board of Directors of ABH Holding S. A,. This holding is registered in the offshore British virgin Islands and controls the “Alfa-Bank”.

Putin’s joke caused a burst of laughter. Only one person in the room not smiling. It was the banker Aven. Unlike other major shareholders of “Alfa-Bank” — the citizens of Israel and the Russian Federation Mikhail Fridman, German Khan and Alexei Kuzmichev Russian citizen, living in the UK and there having the status of a tax resident — citizen of Latvia, Pyotr Aven, as individuals pay taxes to the Russian Treasury. Apparently, therefore, he was not laughing from a joke of the President of the bankrupt richer.

That is Aven in mid-January, said on the sidelines of the Gaidar forum that “Alfa-Bank” is not interested in purchase of the Bank “Revival”, although he openly expressed his interest in participating in the new redevelopments. But that was before the publication of the US Treasury, “the Kremlin list”. It turned out to be influential “alfovtsy”, which already announced a number of ambitious projects abroad. Now those investments could forget? Because the money in foreign banks can freeze at any time.

But it is possible that the tax residents of the UK will convince his partner to change his holding position in relation to the purchase of “Revival” or find another, equally interesting Bank bonus. And despite the smokescreen in the media clearing the asset still appears in the list of acquisitions of the influential financial institutions. And then the version of the tacit agreement of the Central Bank and “alfovtsev” before the “leak” Gavrilova will acquire an entirely different meaning.

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