Gref stated that there will be no default even at zero oil price
The head of Sberbank German Gref said that he does not expect a default in the country due to the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic: in the nearest future the bank would not need state assistance even at zero oil price.
However, if the crisis drags on before the end of the year, then other Russian banks will need support.
Moreover, the bank previously applied for an irrevocable credit line of 500 billion rubles to the Central Bank. The bank needed the money to compensate for the massive outflow of deposits. Since mid-March, depositors have closed deposits with Russian banks in the amount of about 616 billion rubles, which amounted to 2% of the total volume of all deposits. Outflow slowed in the last week of March, which was able to compensate for only a quarter of the losses of banks. Most deposits were withdrawn from Sberbank. The use of depositors' money by the state, as in the 90s, the head of the bank ruled out.
“When the situation with coronavirus was just beginning, we developed three possible scenarios for the development of the situation, one of which suggested that the price of oil would fall to $ 10 and even drop to zero, followed by recovery by the end of the year. Even in this scenario, the bank maintained its profitability. We do not need help from the state. This crisis is not banking, we have talked about it many times. It begins with a pandemic, continues on the economy, and last but not least, banks. Banks are not in danger. In the case of a protracted economic crisis, a number of Russian banks may need help, because this will turn into a difficult situation in the banking sector, but this will not affect Sberbank, ” Gref said . According to him, it is expected that the current crisis in the country will be protracted, it will not last a month, two or three, but banks will not need help at the price of ten dollars per barrel of oil, or at zero price. On Monday evening, the price of oil for the first time fell first to zero, and then to negative values. The oil storages are filled to capacity, due to the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in the world, demand for oil has fallen; its recovery is forecasted not earlier than in the third quarter.
Earlier, the onset of default in the country was also ruled out by the head of the Russian Ministry of Economy Maxim Reshetnikov. According to him, Russia was already experiencing serious economic crises in 2008 and 2014, and none of them led to default. At the same time, due to the deficit, the Ministry of Finance took the last budget money placed on deposits with banks. Business Ombudsman Boris Titov predicted a pullback to the economy in the mid-1990s if the self-isolation regime dragged on for more than two months and the authorities did not support the business. The government said that more than 500 thousand small and medium-sized enterprises, which employ more than three million people, can count on financial support from the state.