2016: failed banks from the first hundred 

2016: failed banks from the first hundred
Many licenses revoked come amid criminal cases associated with the withdrawal and embezzlement of depositors' funds Photo: The CrimeRussia

The number of credit institutions, deprived of the license this year, exceeded one hundred. And in less than 3.5 year of campaign to improve the financial system, which the Central Bank carries out, about 300 banks' licences were revoked, and only a small part of them terminated their work voluntarily. The Central Bank revoked the licenses of 463 banks in 10 years. Moreover, in 2015, the number of banks, in respect of which last resort was adopted, reached 93 and in 2016 - 97. Which depositors have experienced difficulties in 2016 - in the review of the CrimeRussia.

The Сentral Bank (CB) intends to prolong its strategy for the recovery of the banking sector. "We will continue to put out of commission banks with chronically unstable state, the owners of which are not able to cope with the situation. This policy will continue, but we have no quantitative restrictions,"- said Chairman of the Bank of Russia (CB) Elvira Nabiullina. But President Vladimir Putin, speaking at the investment forum Russia Calling, criticized the former leadership of the Central Bank and restrain the appetite of the regulator. He noted that it was necessary to put out inefficient banks from the market well-timed.

Many licenses revoked come amid criminal cases associated with the withdrawal and embezzlement of depositors' funds. Anxiously, it is not the small, poorly credible credit institutions, but existing for many years’ solid banks, in which reliability no one has doubt.

Лариса Маркус

Former president of Vneshprombank Larisa Marcus fully admitted her guilt and signed a plea bargain    

Vneshprombank, which ranked 40th in the Russian banking system, opened the parade of licenses’ revocation in 2016. The CB audit, which began in late 2015, revealed a hole in the bank's asset amounting to 215.9 billion rubles. Then, the regulator decided not to reorganize the bank, but carry out the procedure of the bankruptcy. In March, the court handed down a decision. According to investigators, founder of the bank Larisa Marcus and her brother, co-owner of the bank Georgy Bedzhamov, together with Vneshprombank’s Vice-President Katerina Glushakova and some unidentified persons siphoned off the money through the issuance of non-performing loans to firms controlled by them. In addition, the investigation revealed that millions of dollars were withdrawn also from the accounts of important clients. With this money, the elite real estate was purchased in Monaco and Switzerland, as well as boats and planes.

The nominee of Russian banks TOP-40, Vneshprombank, deposited savings of Russian officials, Rosneft, Rosneftegas, Transneft, the Russian Olympic Committee, the Foreign Ministry, the Defense Ministry and the Russian Orthodox Church – in total, not less than 30 billion rubles of VIP-clients.

Георгий Беджамов

Co-owner Georgy Bedzhamov managed to escape abroad

If Marcus was immediately detained and arrested for embezzlement, Bedzhamov managed to escape abroad. In March 2016, he was declared internationally wanted on charges of Swindling on an especially large-scale (part 4 of Art. 159 of the Criminal Code). Bedzhamov’s lawyers insisted that there was no reason for the arrest in absentia, or for detection, claiming that he was not hiding from the investigation, but only treated abroad. Incidentally, it is worth noting that the desire for crimes brother and sister had inherited from their father, who was killed in the 90's leader of the Assyrian OCG Avdysh (sometimes, he appears under the name of Alexander) Bidzhamo (Alik the Assyrian). In April 2016, Bedzhamov was arrested by Monaco authorities at the request of the Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation, but the local court refused to extradite him to Russia. Later, with the help of his friend, Prince Albert II of Monaco, Bedzhamov could altogether escape and hide in London. It is known that he did not give recognisance not to leave in Monaco, but was under the so-called judicial review.

In December of 2016, former president of Vneshprombank Larisa Marcus fully admitted her guilt and signed a plea bargain.

Банк Пересвет

In October, the Central Bank introduced a temporary administration in the Peresvet bank and a moratorium on payments to creditors, explaining that the bank did not pay creditors for more than seven days. It was noted that there are two prospects for the development: the financial rehabilitation with Central Bank’s or the largest creditors’ accounts through the conversion of its claims to its shares, or withdrawal of the license.

The decision is not accepted yet. The bank holds 41th rank in the Russian banking system in terms of capital, it maintains and lends to government agencies, commercial enterprises, small and medium businesses. The cause of problems at the Peresvet bank, the main shareholder of which is the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC), according to preliminary data, became the active lending of the construction industry projects. The Peresvet bank has completely lost its own funds in the beginning of December. Its negative equity amounted to 35.1 billion rubles.

More than 49% of Peresvet’s shares belong to the Russian Orthodox Church, another shareholder, which has a significant impact on the bank with a share of 24%, is the Chamber of Commerce. The Russian Orthodox Church itself said it has nothing to do with bank’s problem and asked do not call it clerkly.

Russian Olympians kept their savings in Peresvet. In particular, there was money of Olympic champion in rhythmic gymnastics Alina Kabaeva, heavyweight boxer Alexander Povetkin, volleyball player Katerina Gamova.

Александр Бугаевский

Ex-Chairman of Interkommerz Alexander Bugaevsky is wanted

The ‘hole’ in the Interkommerts bank amounted to 65.1 billion rubles. In April, the financial institution was declared bankrupt. In February, its license was withdrawn and, in March, the Central Bank declared that the cost of Interkommerts’ assets do not exceed 26.6 billion rubles, the value of liabilities to creditors amounted to 91.8 billion rubles. The regulator and the Deposit Insurance Agency (DIA) together with the interim administration of bank established facts of large-scale withdrawal of assets. In addition, the interim administration revealed that the majority of the legal entities’ loan portfolio in the amount of not less than 48.8 billion rubles had signs of technical loan. Interkommerts took 67th place in terms of assets. Transneft, subsidiaries of Oboronservis, Agromprom LLC and Oboronlogistika LLC, and Federal State Unitary Enterprise State Corporation for Air Traffic Management, which provides air traffic control services, kept its money in the bank.


Rosinterbank lost its license in September. At that time, the bank's fund was positive and was estimated at 5.5 billion rubles. Later, it was revealed that the negative capital was 90.9 billion rubles. And then, the Central Bank registered with the ‘hole’ in the Rosinterbank’s bank in the amount of 80.3 billion rubles. At the time of withdrawal of the license, the bank held the 68th rank in terms of assets. September 15, the interim administration was introduced in the bank, the same day, the credit institution announced the termination of customer service. Rosinterbank always had a very aggressive policy to raise funding of individuals, which helped it to enter the top-100 of largest banks. The main owner of the bank Georgy Gvelesiani (he owns 67.23%) is engaged in non-financial businesses. His company Hermes Organics, according to the information on the site, is engaged in the supply of animal feed and mining equipment. In December, the Central Bank submitted a request to the Ministry of Internal Affairs on the violations of Rosinterbank’s management. It was not reported on the initiation of the criminal case.


Then, in September, Moscow Voenno-Promyshlenny bank (VPB) lost its license. The interim administration determined that the financial institution illegally debited about 6.3 billion rubles from the accounts of customers. The Moscow Arbitration Court recognized the financial institution as the bankrupt at the request of the Central Bank of Russia. In terms of assets it held 89th place. Problems were found out in late summer. September 7, the financial institution suspended the issuance of deposits, and two days later the Central Bank disconnected it from the system of electronic payments (BESP). The regulator said that the bank evaluated the risks taken inadequately. The proper credit risk assessment and objective reflection of the value of assets in the financial statements resulted in a complete loss of bank’s capital. It is now known that the General Prosecutor’s Office checks VPB after the lawsuit against the Bank of Russia, in which VBP is asking the court to recognize actions of the regulator illegal.


Finprombank, which ranked 94th place in the financial system of Russia, lost its license in one day with Rosinterbank. The size of assets amounted to 60.2 billion rubles. According to the statements of the credit institution on August 1, in Finprombanke it was stored 16.3 billion rubles. The CB revealed the ‘hole’ at 27 billion rubles. It is noted that the ‘hole’ was detected directly in Finprombank, rather than in the banking group, which also includes IMoneyBank and payment system Tamozhennaya Karta. However, IMoneyBank also lost its license a few weeks later. Businessman Musa Bazhaev was one of the Finprombank’s shareholders; he is included in the rating of 200 richest businessmen of Russia according to Forbes (156th place, assessment of the state - $ 0.5 billion). Bazhaev kept his savings in Finprombank and actively supported the credit institution. From December 2015 till February 2016 he invested 6.5 billion rubles, in early June, added another 5.8 billion rubles due to the interest in Tamozhennaya Karta.


In mid-April, the CB introduced the temporary administration in BFG-Kredit to clarify the situation in the bank, and, by the end of the month, adapt a three-month moratorium on discharge of creditors’ claims. The Bank of Russia revoked the license of the credit institution at the end of July. It explained the decision that BFG-Kredit did not fulfil the requirements of laws and regulations of the Central Bank regulating banking activities. Proper assessment of credit risk and objective reflection of the value of assets led to a complete loss of its capital, but the management and owners of the bank did not take effective measures to normalize its operations. The ‘hole’ in the bank's capital, according to preliminary estimates of the Central Bank, is not less than 40 billion rubles. Such a significant imbalance between the assets and liabilities of the credit organization did not allow the regulator to make a choice in favor of the financial rehabilitation. At the time of withdrawal of the license, BFG-Kredit closed the first hundred of banks in terms of assets and took 99th place. According to data published on the website of the bank, its partners were VGTRK, First Channel, Mir.

Also, the CB revoked licenses of LLC ERGOBANK, JSC Miraf-Bank, CJSC Millennium Bank, LLC REGNUM BANK, LLC CB MILBANK, CJSC TSERICH, LLC CB ROSAVTOBANK, JSC StarBank, JSC SMARTBANK, JSC CB VEK, PJSC CB EvrositiBank, LLC Centrkombank, LLC CB IMoneybank, JSC CB MIR, JSCB Bank on Krasnye Vorota, LLC CB NKB, etc.

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