MOSCOW (AFP) – Russia’s central bank said Monday it had placed the troubled Trust Bank under supervision and would bail it out with 30 billion rubles (430 million euros, $525 million) to avoid bankruptcy.
It did not say if the problems of the lender, whose products are advertised by Hollywood actor Bruce Willis, were linked to the fall of the ruble, which has weakened Russia’s financial system.
The bank is ranked number 15 in the country in terms of deposits and 29th in terms of assets.
At an emergency meeting the central bank’s leaders approved the rescue plan that also includes being put under a special administrator and the search for a new investor to take over Trust Bank which should be “a major Russian bank”.
The Bank of Russia said its injection into Trust Bank should provide it sufficient liquidity to continue operations without any repercussions for clients.
Unable to borrow on Western markets due to US and EU sanctions over Moscow’s role in the Ukraine crisis, Russian banks have found themselves pressed by the plunge of the ruble that has lost nearly half its value in the past year.
Rates on the interbank lending market, a barometer of confidence banks have in one another, have shot up in recent days, reflecting wariness and liquidity problems among banks.
Last week the central bank announced a number of technical measures to improve the access of banks to liquidity and the parliament approved a recapitalisation plan worth one trillion rubles (13 billion euros).
Russia boasts more than 800 banks, many which are small and financially fragile. The Bank of Russia has closed dozens in recent years to try to strengthen the banking system.