In September, Russian citizens continued to actively withdraw currency from Sberbank accounts. Over the month, the volume of such deposits decreased by $ 0.9 billion, from the beginning of August the volume decreased by more than $ 2 billion. The outflow of funds from individuals' deposits in Sberbank occurred amid growing rumors about a possible forced conversion of foreign currency deposits. However, after the reassuring statements of the head of the Bank of Russia Elvira Nabiullina, as well as the rise in interest rates on foreign currency deposits, outflows can be reduced.
Sberbank on Friday is traditionally the first Russian bank to publish monthly reports. According to these data, according to “Kommersant”, the population’s funds in foreign currency in September declined by $ 901 million (2.7%) and amounted to $ 32.5 billion. Most likely, Russian citizens simply took these funds from the bank and did not convert in ruble deposits. According to the statements, the term and current deposits of the population in rubles declined by 45.78 billion rubles last month. (by 0.5%), up to 9.65 trillion rubles. In general, the outflow of foreign currency deposits slowed compared with August, when individuals took $ 1.18 billion from the bank (see “Kommersant” on September 17).
The press service of Sberbank confirmed the outflow of $ 0.9 billion of individuals' funds in September, but noted that while the flow of funds of legal entities for the month amounted to about $ 1.5 billion (the calculation was made according to internal methods of the bank). The outflow of foreign currency deposits in August at Sberbank was called the result of the “controlled evolution of the bank’s balance sheet”.
At the same time, at the end of August, the bank introduced a new seasonal currency deposit, which was valid until the end of September, with interest rates of 1.5–3% per annum (the maximum rate was offered to customers willing to place from $ 150,000 for three years). Now the maximum rate on dollar deposits at Sberbank is 2.06% per annum, while in a number of large banks (VTB, RSHB, Alfa-Bank, Rosbank) the rates on dollar deposits exceed 2.5% per annum.
The September outflow of deposits from Sberbank took place against the background of statements by the head of VTB Bank Andrei Kostin that if a hard scenario of sanctions were implemented, in which Russian state banks would be unable to carry out operations in dollars, VTB did not rule out the issuance of funds from such accounts in another currency as one of the options performance of their obligations to investors (see "Kommersant-Online" on September 12). The statement of the head of the second-largest Russian bank did not pass without a trace, and the head of the Central Bank Elvira Nabiullina had to reassure bank customers, who denied the possibility of forced conversion of deposits. Such measures, she said, only undermine confidence in the Russian banking system.
According to Kommersant’s estimate, the volume of legal entities in foreign currency in Sberbank increased by $ 1.43 billion in September. This was mainly due to an increase in deposits of commercial companies for more than three years by $ 1.56 billion (while reducing deposits for shorter periods ). Also, $ 902 million increased balances on accounts of foreign companies. The ruble funds of legal entities in Sberbank grew in September by more than 222 billion rubles. This growth was mainly due to the additionally attracted funds of the Federal Treasury in the amount of almost 151 billion rubles.
According to the rating agency Fitch, in August the most significant outflow of corporate funding adjusted for changes in the exchange rate was observed in Sberbank (117 billion rubles, 1.7%), Gazprombank (87 billion rubles, 2.8%) and Russia Bank "(58 billion rubles., 9.4%). Retail deposits also fell mainly in Sberbank (107 billion rubles, 0.9%) and in banks that sanitized the Central Bank (35 billion rubles, 3.2%), while other banks showed a fairly uniform increase in retail deposits.
According to Expert RA bank ratings director Ruslan Korshunov, “rumors about the de-dollarization of the economy and the possible conversion of foreign currency deposits into rubles could have prompted part of the population to withdraw their funds from state banks, against which sanctions could be strengthened.” At the same time, he notes that the outflow of household deposits in September could also be a consequence of the seasonal factor - the return of people from holidays and, as a result, the growth of their consumer activity. However, according to Mr. Korshunov, these factors were one-time effect and with a high probability of such outflows in October will not.