November 20, 2008 / 8:52 AM / in 9 years

Two more Russian banks lose licences

MOSCOW, Nov 20 (Reuters) - Russia’s central bank said on Thursday it was revoking the banking licences of Sochi Bank and Sibcontact Bank, citing loss of liquidity and inability to meet creditors’ demands.

That takes the number of Russian banks who have had their licences revoked since late August to at least nine. One further bank has had its licence annulled at its own request.

The global credit crunch is taking a toll, leading to consolidation among Russia’s 1,000-plus banks and the failure of some of the country’s smaller financial institutions.

There are also signs that ordinary Russians are starting to withdraw some money from banks and to increase foreign currency deposits at the expense of rouble-denominated ones.

Sochi Bank and Sibcontact Bank depositors will be able to apply to the Deposit Insurance Agency to get their money back.

Authorities have changed the rules in the face of the crisis, and now the first 700,000 roubles ($25,610) of a deposit are 100 percent guaranteed -- the equivalent of around 40 times the average monthly wage. (Reporting by Toni Vorobyova; Editing by Rupert Winchester)

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