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Russian deposit rates to go down

Russian deposit rates to go down
The Russian Central Bank is cutting the maximum average deposit benchmark rate to 9.35% from 10.53%. It’s to help banks meet their obligations, as booming consumer credit coupled with high deposit rates poses a threat to Russian banking, experts say.

The country's key regulator will start watching closer the level of deposit rates among Russian banks from October 2012. "Special attention will be given by the supervisory banking body to cases where there is a spread of more than 2 percentage points from the set maximum interest rate," CBR said in a press release.

With the move, the regulator wants to cut the risk to Russian banking and avoid the situation where banks over lend and are obliged to pay high interest on deposits to meet their lending obligations, experts explained to Kommersant daily.

"These are retail banks with a high share of consumer credit that offer high rates on deposits, which cannot but worry the regulator," Anatoly Aksakov, Deputy Head for Financial Markets Committee at the State Duma and president at Association of Regional banks of Russia ( Rossiya) told the newspaper.

Credit to individuals grew by 26.1% from January – September 2012, which compares to a 19.6% rise last year. This was coupled by a much slower deposits growth during the period: they grew by 9.8% in 2012, up from 9.2% in 2011. The average deposit rate among Russian banks in September stood at 10.53%, climbing to as high as 19% in smaller banks like Moscomprivatbank.