As the head of the “Savings” department of VTB Natalia Tuchkova told RG, throughout the year the bank observes a stable flow of funds from accounts in foreign currency to those of rubles. This is mainly due to the de-dollarization vector, he explained. According to the expert, deposits in rubles demonstrate a high degree of public trust, and their share of the total portfolio continues to increase. Tuchkova notes that this year the ruble savings market will continue to grow due to improved conditions for deposits, growth in wage registrations and social benefits.
“Interest rates on deposits in dollars and euros will continue to remain at a minimum level, so the bank predicts a further substitution of the dollar / euro in the savings of the population. The trend will intensify as interest rates on ruble savings instruments increase, as well as products in a friendly currency, mainly yuan,” the VTB expert added.
“For our part, we do not observe a trend of withdrawing cash from deposits and accounts in foreign currency,” said Lidia Kashirina, Deputy Director of Rosbank’s Retail Customer and Digital Business Solutions Department. Otkritie Bank reported that in recent months they have not registered a significant change in the behavior of customers who have dollars and euros in their accounts. The Post Bank’s press service responded that they have no foreign currency accounts and no deposits at all.
Remember that according to the rules of the Central Bank, up to 10 thousand dollars in cash or the equivalent in euros can be withdrawn from foreign currency accounts and deposits opened before March 9, 2022. In excess of this amount, the customer receives in rubles. Citizens whose accounts and deposits were opened after March 9 have the right to withdraw only the national currency from these accounts. Funds are converted and issued at the bank’s exchange rate.
As it turned out, despite high exchange rates, there is no tendency for Russians to actively withdraw rubles from foreign currency accounts.
“This may be due to the fear of further weakening of the ruble,” Bogdan Zvarych, chief analyst at Banki.ru, told RG. In his opinion, citizens keep foreign currency in their accounts and do not convert it into rubles to protect themselves from the depreciation of ruble savings and diversify their savings.
The expert believes that interest on deposits in foreign currency can gradually increase even with the increased attractiveness of deposits in rubles. At the same time, the focus of potential investors will shift from hostile currencies to friendly ones, such as the yuan. Zvarych named several contributing factors to this.
“The first of these is the growth in the number of instruments, such as deposits and bonds in friendly currencies, which allow not only to diversify savings by currency, but also to receive interest income. In addition, the rates of deposits in yuan are higher than in similar products in dollars and euros. At the same time, the main factor of diversification will continue to be the risks of weakening the ruble, which stimulate depositors to open deposits in foreign currency,” the expert explained.
Interest in “toxic” currencies is losing not only citizens, but also banks. They began getting rid of “toxic” coins in the spring of 2022. Of the 13 systemically important credit institutions, only 2 now offer to open deposits and accounts in foreign currency in dollars and euros. But the rates on them are too small, less than 1%. MKB offers a savings account in dollars and euros with a rate of 0.3%, and a deposit, from 0.25% to 0.6%, depending on the conditions. Alfa-Bank offers an even lower yield: 0.01% on deposits in dollars and euros.
At the moment, you can sell “toxic” currency in bank branches. Reception and shopping on your part are still carried out as usual. It is not always possible to buy dollars and euros in cash. According to the explanation of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, banks can sell “toxic” coins to citizens who have reached their boxes only as of April 9, 2022. Therefore, it is necessary to clarify their number in the banks themselves. But as we were informed in one of the bank’s call centers, it is impossible to buy cash from them in branches, only online.