Fearing sanctions, the banks will not allow money to strategic companies

The Finance Ministry proposes to further tighten up the existing bill 60-million fine to the strategically important state enterprises and companies for work with the banks to match the requirements of the government. The government can deny the right to work with such enterprises, even those banks that technically meet its requirements, the amendments to the bill published by the Ministry of Finance on the portal disclosure of draft normative acts.

Right to open accounts of strategically important state enterprises and companies, and take money from them for deposits may be deprived of the banks have restricted lending to “private enterprises and organizations” due to the sanctions imposed against Russia, follows from the amendments proposed by the Ministry of Finance. The same punishment can be applied to banks in case there is a risk (threat) that they will restrict lending to any businesses and organizations because of the sanctions, said the amendment.

Suspended banks will not be able to work with the Federal unitary enterprises and companies included, respectively, in presidential and government lists the Federal state unitary enterprise and the economic societies having strategic value for defense industry complex and security of the state. Existing lists of such enterprises and companies included state-owned enterprises of the defence industry, organization Manager of the President (in particular, the enterprise for property management abroad), all Russian state media (First channel, VGTRK, TASS, “RIA Novosti”), and the largest state companies — “Gazprom”, “Rosneft”, Russian Railways, Aeroflot, etc. Prohibition to the Bank to work with strategically important state-owned enterprises established in the form of FGUP, will apply to the Federal state unitary enterprise controlled by such company, to the amendments of the Ministry of Finance.

The few reports of failures of Russian banks in lending to any companies and organizations in connection with the sanctions are mostly connected with the Crimea. So, in 2015, it became known about the refusal to work in the Crimea, Sberbank, later in the same year reported the refusal of the Russian state-owned banks to lend to electric power plants on the Peninsula, resulting in the construction of new power plants had to plan for the expense of the Federal budget.

The Ministry of Finance did not answer the question of what banks have restricted lending because of the sanctions. Sberbank, Alfa-Bank, Gazprombank did not respond to requests. “Opening” refused to comment. “VTB operates strictly within the law and sanctions restrictions. VTB group does not work and does not provide financing on the territory of Crimea”, — said the press service of VTB.

A bill to protect the interests of the state when placed in banks of budgetary funds, state enterprises, state corporations and state-owned companies was introduced in the state Duma by the government in July of 2016, in December, adopted in the first reading and preparing for the second. The document gives the government the right to set requirements for banks in which state-owned enterprises and companies will be able to keep accounts and deposits. The list of banks that meet these requirements, each month will publish the Central Bank. Account “bad” banks state-owned enterprises and companies will have to close within six months. Work with banks, not included in the list of the Central Bank, and SOEs, and the banks themselves will face fines of up to 60 million RUB Their officials will fine for the sum to 1 million rubles. At the same time, the government will be allowed to work with state-owned enterprises and companies banks that do not formally meet their requirements. Such an exception will be made for Russian banks that fall under personal sanctions (for example, the Bank “Russia” SMP Bank included in the sanctions list of the USA), told the deputies and officials of the Ministry of Finance during the first reading of the bill in the Duma.