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Opinion

Russia banking: The Yugra illusions

On a recent visit to the Russian central bank on a wintry day, Euromoney’s eye was caught by a chap holding a large and surprisingly professionally produced billboard.

Yugra-Russia-banking-protest-600

Bearing the logo of recently defunct Yugra Bank, it read: “CB RF [Central Bank of the Russian Federation] – give the money back! MVD [Ministry of the Interior] – put the thieves from CB in prison!”

This one-man protest was the latest in a series of attacks on the central bank following its forced closure of Yugra last July. 

Over the summer, a deluge of stories – at one point, more than 1,000 a day – appeared in the more flexible parts of the Russian media. They accused the central bank of defrauding Yugra depositors. 

Several D-list celebrities went on TV to say they had lost money as a result of the bank closure. A group claiming to be Yugra depositors staged a sit-in at the central bank. 

All may not, however, be quite what it seems.


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