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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Depositors Get 2 More Weeks To Consider Sberbank Transfer

The Central Bank on Thursday gave individual depositors two more weeks to decide if they want to transfer their savings from six ailing banks to state-owned Sberbank.

The Central Bank said it delayed the deadline from Friday until Oct. 10 because many depositors wanted more time to consider their options.

"The decision to put off the deadline was made because the Central Bank received a lot of requests from individuals who said that it is not enough time for them to make the decision about the transfer," Central Bank spokesman Kirill Tomchik said.

The postponement also means depositors who moved to Sberbank will only be permitted to withdraw their money Nov. 29, two weeks later than originally announced.

As commercial banks buckled under the weight of the financial crisis earlier this month, the Central Bank sought to give depositors a way out by striking a transfer deal with MOST-Bank, Menatep, Mosbiznesbank, Promstroibank, Inkombank and SBS-Agro. The banks agreed to freeze the accounts until Friday while clients mulled over the proposal.

None of the six banks would say how many depositors have transferred their accounts, but Central Bank chairman Viktor Gerashchenko said Thursday on NTV television that 6 percent of the banks' clients had moved to Sberbank.

MOST-Bank spokesman Vasily Borisov said about 300 people a day are transferring to Sberbank.

Inkombank and SBS-Agro spokesmen said in mid-September that very few depositors were moving their accounts.

The banks had 20 billion rubles ($3.2 billion) worth of private accounts in both rubles and dollars as of July 1, according to the Rating Information Center, a Russian banking agency. The center estimated the total assets of the six banks at 105 billion rubles.