26 Oct 2017 14:19

Gazprom withdrew 3 bln rubles from Otkritie before troubles revealed

MOSCOW. Oct 26 (Interfax) - The Gazprom Group withdrew as much as 3 billion rubles from Bank Otkritie before the financial difficulties at the bank became public knowledge, the head of Gazprom's Department 839 (treasury), Alexander Dushko, told Interfax.

"We had an account at Bank Otkritie. There is no investment there. The account is not in use. We are waiting for the Central Bank to restore the economic indicators," he said.

"We saw that there were fairly interesting rates there. But having opened this account, we never used it. We opened it about one year ago [November 29, 2016]. But we didn't use it because the Central Bank lowered the key rate - interesting terms arose at banks where we had previously opened accounts, and we used the banks that we had," Dushko said.

"We made suggestions to subsidiaries prior to publication. We monitor the situation and we knew that there were certain difficulties. As soon as one or another rumor appeared on the market, we began to take a close look. The finance committee decided to suggest that our subsidiaries close all accounts and withdraw any balances. It wasn't a lot. When we made the decision, it was no more than 3 billion rubles. There were many small subsidiaries, subsidiaries of subsidiaries, Vostokgazprom," Dushko said.

"We have a methodology. There is a Central Bank instruction used to identify the banks that can be worked with in Russia. Moreover, there are registers, lists of banks having the right to open special accounts, for example, for the defense sector, there are banks designated as significant for Russia (the list is updated monthly). Based on this, on this methodology, that we use to assign a sort of rating for this bank, we assign a sort of rating. We look at how stable it is, our ability to deposit some funds there, whether the bank is working with our partners, contracting organizations, make a decision at the finance committee and open an account at one or another bank. We don't open accounts at very many banks," he said.

Commenting on information that Otkritie's temporary administration had requested that major clients leave their deposits with the bank, Dushko said: "They can ask, but every business structure makes decisions for itself independently. We made the decision - when the economic indicators improve. We simply have that defined methodologically. We only present to the finance committee those banks meeting certain standards that suit us. After that a collegial decision is made, that we can place money there."