Depositors are disappointed in Russian banks

In September, the outflow of depositors' money from the Russian banking system amounted to over 500 billion rubles.
Panic moods of the population regarding the availability of money on deposits due to the sanctions led to an outflow of funds from the banking system. In September, the net outflow of citizens' funds from banks reached nearly 500 billion rubles, as a result, in the first nine months, the growth in deposits was only 3.5%. The Central Bank hopes that the outflow will be short-term, and so far the forecast is not changed - the inflow is 7–9% per year. But experts are confident that such results will not succeed, and the net outflow of deposits from banks will continue for a couple of months before the announcement of the US decision on sanctions. As a result, at the end of the year, the rate of inflow of citizens into the system may be the lowest in the last ten years.

The Bank of Russia has conducted preliminary results for the banking sector for nine months. By October 1, the volume of funds of individuals in the banking system amounted to 26.9 trillion rubles. (taking into account currency revaluation), an increase of only 3.5% since the beginning of the year. At the end of August, the picture was much more positive - an increase in individuals' funds in the banking system by 5.3%. In September, the net outflow of public funds from banks amounted to 496 billion rubles. Without taking into account the currency revaluation, the flow of citizens' funds into the system for the first nine months was even lower - only 1.7%, while the negative dynamics was observed in August (–0.6%) and in September (–0.8%). Even the actions of state-owned banks to raise interest rates on foreign currency deposits did not help, but a slight increase in the maximum rates on ruble deposits of the largest banks — from 6.3 to 6.7% in August-September (according to monitoring by the Central Bank).

The reason for the outflow of deposits is the concerns of citizens regarding the fate of their funds in state banks, especially in foreign currency, against the background of possible tough US sanctions announced in August. In particular, they provide for a ban on Sberbank, VTB, Rosselkhozbank, Promsvyazbank, Vneshekonombank on settlements in US dollars.

The situation was aggravated in September by statements by VTB President Andrei Kostin. Trying to reduce the passions, he assured that "all customers of all banks will be able to get their money back." But the following reservation “how it will be done, in what currency is another question” gave new reasons for speculation. Statements by the authorities at all levels, as well as the Central Bank, that there are no plans to convert dollar deposits into rubles (see Kommersant of September 17) have failed to calm the population. “The fears of citizens that if tough US sanctions are imposed on state banks, their money may hang on accounts, and the general uncertainty exacerbated by dedollarization and its consequences, which are not very clear to the ordinary people, remains,” said ACRA analyst Valery Piven. it will continue, it is difficult to predict, the US decision on sanctions in November may bring clarity to the situation. ”

However, the Central Bank does not tend to panic. “This tendency to decrease deposits, which you noticed in August-September, is short-term, in our opinion,” said Deputy Chairman of the Bank of Russia Vasily Pozdyshev on October 9. “We expect growth in household deposits in banks in the next quarter.” At what level, he did not specify, the Central Bank did not answer the question whether the regulator intends to change its forecast. It was presented back in May - a growth in deposits of 7–9% for the year, but “closer to 9%”.

However, experts are confident that these figures are already unattainable. “7–9% is an unrealistic forecast, I would proceed from the fact that we will see a growth of 1–2 percentage points relative to the current increase,” says Valery Piven. According to Alexey Antonenko, analyst at Alor Broker, for the remaining two and a half months, it will be almost impossible for the Central Bank to reach the deposit market forecast. “The annual growth of 2–2.5% is more realistic given the currency revaluation,” he believes. “Even if banks continue to raise interest rates on deposits, the population is too depressed by the decline in real incomes and the possible depreciation of the ruble, as well as rumors about new sanctions” . Against this background, people prefer to make savings in the form of a multi-currency basket, and in cash, the expert concludes.

If the worst predictions come true, then this year the rate of inflow of household funds into the banking system may turn out to be the worst in the last ten years. So far, the lowest result was recorded in 2016 - 4.2%, taking into account the currency revaluation, according to the Central Bank.

However, in general, experts are not inclined to dramatize. “The situation for the sector, even taking into account the outflow of deposits, is not dangerous,” said Alexander Danilov, senior director of the Fitch Ratings banking analysis group. “Banks have more than enough liquidity reserves, and in the case of a negative scenario, they can count on the support of the Central Bank. After a few months, people will calm down, and the flow of their funds into the system will resume. ”