Do Russian banks continue withdrawing from ARB?

Do Russian banks continue withdrawing from ARB?

A number of Russian banks are ready to follow the eight largest banks that have declared their readiness to withdraw from the Association of Russian Banks (ARB). "Those who disagreed with a policy of the head of the ARB Garegin Tosunyan plan to join the 'Russia' association," the Kommersant newspaper writes.

Tosunyan still believes that what the situation on the ARB is not a reason for reforms in the association. "With this in mind, the withdrawal of a number of large banks from the ARB  is being discussed," the top-manager of a bank participating in the process said.

Last week, a group of the largest banks that announced withdrawal from the ARB (Sberbank, VTB, VTB 24, Alfa Bank, Otkritie FC Bank, Binbank, Rosselkhozbank and Gazprombank), have started negotiations with a number of banks to "win them over to join the 'Russia' association," the newspaper writes. According to Kommersant sources, the matter concerns the AK Bars Bank, Zenit, its subsidiary Lipetskkombank, Sovkombank, Absolut Bank, Svyaz-Bank and RosEvroBank. An extraordinary meeting of the 'Russia' association is expected to be held on August 18.

Garegin Tosunyan told the newspaper that he has no information about the withdrawal of these credit institutions.

The head of the department of stock markets and financial engineering of the Faculty of Finance and the Banking Business of RANEPA, Konstantin Korischenko, speaking to Vestnik Kavkaza, said that intentions of almost fifteen banks to withdraw from the ARB are very decisive. "The banks have filed an application, and now it will be discussed at the meeting. A serious conversation is coming, which can really end with the withdrawal," the expert noted.

At the same time, he pointed out that the possible withdrawal of banks from the ARB does not mean that they will all become part of the 'Russia' organization. "There are banks that belong to both associations. One can only say that the structure of the self-organization of the banking community is likely to change," Konstantin Korishchenko explained.

Professor of the RANEPA faculty of Finance, Money Circulation and Credit, Yuri Yudenkov, first of all, recalled the background of the contradictions between banks and the ARB. "In March, there was an ARB congress, where Tosunian's too radical position vis-à-vis the Central Bank caused an obstruction of the largest banks," he said.

In addition, the expert drew attention to the fact that  historically the ARB has always acted as a defender of banks. "Earlier, when problems arose in relations between the Central Bank and commercial banks, the ARB tried to resolve this issue. Recently, the ARB, under the conditions of the monopoly regulator of the financial market in the person of the Central Bank, cannot do anything, while the Association of Regional Banks tries to solve these issues. And recently, it has been doing a lot to develop new standards. That is, the 'Russia' association currently occupies a more constructive position in resolving issues and does not have obvious contradictions with the Central Bank, "Yury Yudenkov explained.