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VTB says Russian banks could get $52 billion boost if country ditches Basel rules -Breaking


© Reuters. FILEPHOTO: Andrey Kostin (CEO of VTB bank) attends a meeting in Moscow with Russian President Vladimir Putin on November 30, 2021. Picture taken November 30. Sputnik/Mikhail Klimentyev/Kremlin via REUTERS

(Reuters) – Russia’s banks can get a 3.3 trillion rouble ($52billion), capital boost if the central banking ditches Basel capital regulations, Andrey Kostin of VTBBank stated on Thursday.

Russia relaxed capital requirements for banks following the widespread Western sanctions against Russia’s financial sector. This was in reaction to Moscow’s decision to deploy thousands of troops to Ukraine.

Elvira Nabullina, governor of the Central Bank dismissed Thursday’s idea to abandon the Basel requirements. These international standards dictate how much and what assets lenders should keep in their balance sheets. Instead she called for an adjustment in the way they are used in Russia.

Nabiullina said that although the central banks were considering prolonging some support measures through the end, it was open to discussing the possibility with other institutions. She did not provide details.

“It appears that sanctions-hit banking will need to focus on domestic ruble operations, primarily in lending to the state section sanctioned companies… It is important to keep in mind a potential for secondary sanctions and this is essential to avoid splitting up the banking system into separate sections,” she stated.

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Kostin also stated to the forum that he believes the whole sector can get a capital boost in excess of 3.3 trillion Russels if Basel rules are dropped. VTB would be the beneficiary of the 550 billion roubles.

Nabiullina said that the central bank may allow banks to form banks associations without purchasing out their shares. This would enable smaller banks to join larger lenders to benefit.

($1 = 63.5000 roubles)