The Taras Bulba principle: how the government brought up and killed a private bank

Over the last nine years, the Otkritie Group with the governmental help has become the largest player in the banking market.
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The sanation of the banking group "Otkrytie" last week summed up the formation of the banking group, which since 2008 grew from almost zero to the leader of the private sector - its assets amounted to 2.6 trillion rubles. The growth of the "Discovery" occurred in an inorganic and non-market way - due to the favorable attitude of government agencies - the Deposit Insurance Agency and the Central Bank. Together they have allocated about 350 billion rubles to the young banking group since 2008, VTB State Bank poured additional funds into the "Discovery" capital. The information bank was closed - its management silently carried out giant transactions with bonds "Russia 30", VTB Group and shares of companies of its shareholders, sanitized by "Discovery", "Trust" did not disclose the accounts, and pension funds "Lukoil Garant", "Rosgosstrakh" and " Electricity »The composition of assets (as well as the entire pension market). Information on the bank's activities appeared publicly mainly thanks to the projects of the group - "Roketbank" and "Tochka", as well as sponsorship of the Spartak football club, hockey players, chess players and expensive corporate events.

The overall result of such an approach looks deplorable, Vasily Pozdyshev, Deputy Chairman of the Central Bank, last week estimated the total amount of funds necessary to revitalize the "Discovery" through the Bank of Russia-controlled Fund for the Consolidation of the Banking Sector (FCCC) of 250-400 billion rubles. The Central Bank will become the owner of not less than 75% of the bank's shares, existing shareholders may not have more than 25% of shares - if the bank's capital is positive.

Publicly about the problems became known in early summer. In the group there was a significant outflow of clients' funds, which began with a downgrade by the rating agency ACRA, created on the initiative of the Central Bank. On July 3, AKRA reported a weak asset quality of FC Otkritie: 20% of the bank's portfolio is loans with signs of impairment, which are qualified as dubious and non-standard, and 15% of the portfolio - loans overdue for more than three months.

The downgrade could be due to an active M & A group that announced in April that it was buying a $ 1.45 billion diamond mine from Lukoil (its shareholders are co-owners of FC Otkrytie), tried to join Rosgosstrakh - its loss in 2016 reached 33, 3 billion rubles, in the first quarter of 2017 another 20.9 billion rubles.

ACRA assigned the bank "FK Otkrytie" a BBB- rating on the national scale with a "stable" outlook. It was the lowest published rating for a private backbone bank (Alfa Bank received - AA, and ICD had A-). This decision led to the fact that on July 14, the Federal Opening Bank could not allocate funds from the federal budget, as well as pension accumulations of APFs. As a result of ACRA's decision in the summer, Otkryt faced a colossal outflow of funds: in June the bank withdrew 100 billion rubles, and in July, another 620 billion rubles. The outflow of private investors could hardly have been the true cause of the bank's problems, the individual in July withdrew 36 billion rubles, while the Central Bank helped to replace the outflow and poured 333 billion rubles into the bank.

Was there a panic of depositors? It manifested itself with the decision of ACRA. Other large banks of the private sector were offended on August 16, when the famous letter from the Alfa Capital Sergei Gavrilov appeared. He warned clients about the problems of "Discovery", MKB, Binbank, and Promsvyazbank. The last two banks also received funds from the DIA and quickly grew - the assets of Promsvyazbank almost doubled, and Binbank - five times. And with respect to the "Discovery", Gavrilov's letter did not become a disinformation, but became a warning of the announcement of the readjustment, which the Central Bank reported on August 29. Banks, as analysts said, were indeed connected with the "Discovery" through the pension funds of the banks.

But will the banking system feel "in chocolate" as the first deputy chairman of the Central Bank, Dmitry Tulin, states? The "opening" was a private bank with a government share (VTB about 10%), but its collapse will affect the private sector. The failure of the "Discovery" will lead to the fact that the credibility of private banks against the background of a large-scale cleaning of the sector and oversights in supervision is undermined. The positive attitude of the Bank of Russia, which quickly agreed to the transfer of private bank ownership, is puzzling.

After the beginning of the reorganization of the "Discovery", the share of state banks and quasi-banks (owned by DIA, Vnesheconombank and the Central Bank) in the sector will exceed 65%, and in a couple of years it will not be noticed at all. Finally, the transformation of the banking sector will be completed by analogy with business in the oil and gas sector, where private structures are practically nonexistent. This was facilitated not only by the sanation of banks, but also by a campaign to revoke licenses from banks in 2013-2016. According to the Antimonopoly Service, despite the growth of assets of the banking system from 2011 to 2016 by 2.37 times, the number of credit organizations that account for 80% of the assets of the system has halved (from 50 to 24). The share of the three leaders on the federal market is consistently high - around 60%.

The change in the banking system is accompanied by a powerful flow of clients to state-owned banks and to non-resident "daughters" (which are closer to exile with each turn of sanctions). In win, the state giants of the banking industry, which like the Central Bank, advocate the reduction of the private sector.

The remaining "alive" private banks need to be clearly defined with strategy and niche. It would be logical to choose a particular business for yourself where there are strong specialists or a stable direction of development - card, car loan, mortgage, settlement or regional business. It is necessary to try to follow the interests in which state banks participate, which can harm or be interested in intercepting business. Being a universal bank and chasing Sberbank or "Revelation" in Russian realities can be very expensive and even dangerous.

Can the Bank of Russia keep its promise and sell the "Discovery"? Statements will most likely remain just words - once public banks become public, they are not sold. There are always many arguments that banks remain in the state or state corporations' ownership and become a comfortable place of work for bank managers and development of not the private business of the country, but the same state corporations or state sector. Bright examples are Svyaz-Bank, Globex, and Russian Capital. The result - the development of banking business in Russia is increasingly similar to the Soviet period with banks under the ministries.