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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Inkombank Uses Guta To Pay Debt

ST. PETERSBURG -- Troubled Inkombank will pay back its private depositors through the St. Petersburg branch of Guta Bank, officials of both banks announced at a news conference.

The total amount, 119 million rubles ($4.7 million), should be collected by the end of September by Guta Bank and will be used to reimburse 85 percent of the private depositors of Inkombank's northwest regional center, Vladimir Lastovka, the regional center's manager said Monday.

As of Monday, 12,270 private depositors had confirmed that they are owed 475.5 million rubles by the regional center, Lastovka added.

Inkombank froze its operations last September and has been under Central Bank supervision since Nov. 4, when bankruptcy proceedings were initiated against it by the Moscow arbitration court.

Inkombank plans to return the hard currency-denominated deposits at the exchange rate effective on the day of its license withdrawal, which was 16.33 rubles per $1 and it will pay back small depositors first.

"People who had accounts of less than 5,000 rubles will be paid first," Lastovka said.

But the terms of any repayment still remain undecided and depend on Inkombank's head office, which has to confirm the list of depositors before any payment begins, said Alexei Zagorovsky, head of the St. Petersburg branch of Guta Bank and former temporary manager of Inkombank's northwest regional center.

"According to Russian bankruptcy law, banks which have their licenses withdrawn by the Central Bank cannot pay their depositors from their own accounts until their bankruptcy proceedings are completed so we must use partner or operator banks to repay creditors," Lastovka said.

"Guta Bank is serving only as an operator, collecting money from debtors and paying it off to creditors," Zagorovsky said. He added that Guta Bank has already started receiving money, but has declined to name the debtors or the amount of the loans.

Banking analysts say Inkombank's debt collection by a healthy bank is free from Central Bank bankruptcy supervision. This provides Guta Bank with the opportunity to employ recovered depositors' money at its own discretion as short-term financial resources.