21 Jan 2010 17:28

DIA forecasts 20% increase individual bank deposits in 2010

MOSCOW. Jan 21 (Interfax) - Russia's Deposit Insurance Agency (DIA) forecasts that individual deposits in the banking sector in 2010 would come to 20%, the head of the DIA, Alexander Turbanov, said at the forum Russia and the World.

"According to preliminary calculations, the increase in individual deposits in 2010 will come to 20%," he said, adding, "these estimates have surprised the agency somewhat."

Turbanov said that the increase in household deposits in 2009 had come to 26%. "Total deposits of the population, according to earlier estimates, increased to 7.5 trillion rubles. The increase is quite high," he added.

The DIA earlier forecast that the increase in the deposit base of the Russian bank sector would come to 22%.

Turbanov added that such effective growth in deposits in 2009 indicated that banks had been able to hold onto client confidence. Even bearing in mind the consequences of the financial crisis, the banks were able not only to maintain but also increase depositor trust, he said.

Turbanov also said that the increase in bank deposits was the main source for replenishing the resource base of the banking sector, which also helps in the provision of loans. As a result, over recent months banks have accepted fewer resources from the Central Bank of Russia, he stressed. Also, Turbanov said that major borrowing has helped companies find refinancing resources.

Commenting on portfolio trends for banks in 2010, Turbanov said that lending would head toward "zero growth." One of the reasons for this is the decrease in opportunities for Russian citizens to hold savings, he said. "[There has been] as decrease in earnings, an increase in tariffs and an increase in unemployment."

The head of the DIA generally expects the banking sector to recover no earlier than 2010. "The banking sector's adaptation still is not finished. Also, structural realignment has not taken place," he said.