New bank crisis in Russia?

Crowds of customers of Alpha-Bank have blocked the Moscow branches of the bank.
Long lines of the people willing to withdraw their money, are near all Alpha-Bank cash machines.

According to RBC, Alpha-Bank ATMs ran out of money, while the other banks refuse to deal with Alpha-Bank’s accounts. reported that Guta-Bank failed to make payments on its customers’  accounts. There is an announcement on the door of one of Guta-Bank’s offices in Moscow that “because of flow-out of 10 billion roubles in June and significant increase in payments in July, Guta-bank currently is unable to make current payments”.

For a month Russian Central Bank denies the allegations of the crisis in the sphere of inter-bank crediting in Russia. However, lately the situation has become threatening: the two major Russian banks –Alpha-Bank and Guta-Bank - encountered serious problems.  However, the Chair of the Board of Alpha-Bank Rushan Khvesyuk made a statement on Tuesday that the bank follows its obligations to the clients. According to the statement, Alpha-Bank could cope with the two previous bank crises in Russia and “followed its obligations to the customers in full in much more difficult situation in 1998”. Alpha-Bank accuses its competitors of inventing the problems the bank allegedly encounters. Mr. Khvesyuk states that everybody willing to withdraw his/her money from Alpha-Bank, can do this, but the sums equivalent to $10,000 should be ordered in advance, as it has always been in this bank. 

.According to the announcement on Guta-bank website, the bank CEOs are working on stabilizing the situation and increasing the assets. The negotiations between the bank major customers and Russian Central Bank are in progress. Guta-Bank owners are also in search of solution to the problem. They can sell a part of property of Guta group, and think that the crisis could be provoked by their competitors. They could dislike the program of constructing buildings in Bolotny Island on the Moscow River initiated by Guta-Bank, or be interested in obtaining the shares of Permski Motory (producer of aircraft engines) which are currently owned by Guta-Bank. 

Guta-Bank has been operating since 1991. It has big network from 86 branches and additional offices, and more than 140 branches around Russia. On June 1 the bank had 33.684 billion roubles of assets ($1 billion). The bank’s own funds are 4.511 billion roubles, net loan debts - 25.230 billion roubles. 12.46 percent of bank shares are owned by the state.

According to, in the evening of July 7, Head of Russian Central Bank Sergey Ignatiev confirmed the information that Guta-Bank is going to be purchased by the state-owned Vneshtorgbank. Vneshtorgbank’s stake is owned by Russian Central Bank. Mr. Ignatiev said that the Central Bank is ready to give Vneshtorgbank a loan for purchasing Guta-Bank.

On Wednesday evening Guta-Bank shareholders said that they accepted the proposal of the Central Bank on Vneshtorgbank’s purchasing Guta-Bank.

Guta-Bank press department reported that on Monday, July 12, the bank will start all its operations again.

Source: Russian media

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Author`s name Evgeniya Petrova