Russia’s Central Bank has taken administrative control over the troubled Tver Universal Bank, which ten days ago announced that it was temporarily ceasing operations. Opinions in the Russian media are divided over whether the bank’s problems are due to incompetence on the part of its managers or whether they presage a wider crisis in the banking sector. (ORT, July 8) Russia’s 2,000 commercial banks have warned with increasing stridency that a severe banking crisis will result if the Central Bank goes ahead with its decision to raise minimum reserve requirements, but their warnings have been mostly dismissed as alarmist and self-seeking and the opinion has been expressed that it would be no bad thing if some of the weaker banks went into liquidation. But the Tver Universal Bank is no weakling: until recently, it ranked twenty-third in the list of Russia’s strongest banking institutions.
Ruble Convertibility Moves a Step Closer.