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Russian regulator revokes 3 more licenses in banking sector restructuring

September 22, 2014, 11:22 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The licences were revoked for violation of laws prohibiting money laundering and terrorism financing, shady operations and investing in low-quality assets

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Russian Central Bank headquarters in Moscow

Russian Central Bank headquarters in Moscow

© Sergei Shakhidzhanyan

MOSCOW, September 22. /ITAR-TASS/. The Russian Central Bank has revoked three more banking licenses in a continued effort to restructure the country’s financial system, the regulator said on Monday.

The licenses were revoked from the Moscow-based Spetssetstroibank and Pervy Depozitny Bank (Pervy Depozitny) and Severnaya Kliringovaya Palata non-banking credit institution located in Arkhangelsk in north Russia over their highly risky credit policies and failure to comply with banking legislation and Bank of Russia regulations.

Spetssetstroibank and Pervy Depozitny also failed to comply with the anti-money laundering legislation, the regulator said.

Russian banking sector restructuring

The Russian Central Bank has taken active efforts lately to restructure the domestic financial system and make it stable and resilient to market shocks. The regulator has paid special attention to financial institutions that are not large in size and conduct risky operations and violate capital adequacy and transparency requirements.

The Russian regulator has revoked a total of 57 banking licenses since the start of this year, reducing the number of banking institutions in Russia to 874.

In 2013, the regulator stripped 32 banks of their banking licenses.

The Russian regulator has also applied financial rehabilitation measures to banks across the entire spectrum of the domestic banking rating system, including banks from the list of the top 100 domestic banking institutions by assets like Master Bank and Investbank, the top 200 banks like Smolensky Bank and Pushkino Bank and the top 300 credit institutions like Novokuznetsk Municipal Bank and European Trust Bank.

The large-scale effort to clean the banking sector of inefficient operators started with the appointment of Elvira Nabiullina as the Central Bank chief in June 2013.

The Central Bank head has said a decision on license revocation is an “extreme measure” when all the other methods of “influence on a particular bank have been used up.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin said in May 2014 that banks’ financial recovery was required to create a “viable and effective” financial system.

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