Five large banks in Russia saw outflows from corporate accounts in November

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian households retained faith in the country’s largest banks in November, while companies withdrew funds from banks rescued by the central bank, according to an analysis of the central bank data.

Banks' financial health is on the radar as the central bank proceeds with its clean-up program. The central bank took over three major private lenders, Otkritie OFCB.MM, B&N Bank and Promsvyazbank (PSB), in recent months.

The Russian banking sector also remains under scrutiny as banks that are not rescued by the central bank lose their licenses. Since the beginning of the year, the central bank has revoked 62 banking licenses, reducing the number of banks in Russia to 519 from more than 1,000 a few years ago.

In November, Otkritie, once Russia’s largest private lender, lost 101.2 billion roubles ($1.75 billion), or 25 percent of corporate funds it held in current and deposit accounts, according to data collated by Reuters using web-based aggregator, a financial analytical tool used by Russian credit analysts.

Otkritie said in an emailed comment the drop was attributed to a write-off of its subordinated bonds, required by the central bank’s bail-out program.

B&N, which was bailed out within a month after Otkritie, saw its corporate funds shrink by 19 billion roubles, or 16 percent in November, the data showed.

B&N said the decline was due to expiration of some corporate time deposits.

Credit Bank of Moscow (MCB) followed with a drop of 4.9 percent in corporate current and deposit accounts in November.

CBM said it saw an outflow as it has not raised deposit rates unlike other banks that sought liquidity from corporate clients.

PSB, rescued this month, lost 28 billion roubles from corporate current and deposit accounts in November, or 4.7 percent.

PSB said outflows from its accounts came after its credit ratings were reviewed in early November.

UniCredit was another major bank that saw an outflow of one percent from its accounts held by corporates. The Moscow office of the Italian banking group did not reply to a request seeking a comment.

While legal entities were withdrawing funds from banks, retail clients increased funds held in major banks’ current and deposit accounts by up to two percent in November, the data showed.

Reporting by Andrey Ostroukh and Tatiana Voronova; editing by Katya Golubkova and Elaine Hardcastle