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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Savings Accounts Unpopular

Russia's inflation rate and falling incomes have dissuaded people from opening new savings accounts, a new poll showed.

The Deposit Insurance Agency, charged by the government in October with bailing out troubled banks, said only 9 percent of respondents intend to open new savings accounts in 2009 or increase existing ones, while 8 percent said they have no plans to save at all.

Among the respondents disinclined to save, 26 percent cited the level of inflation as the main factor in their decision, while 22 percent blamed low incomes and 19 percent said they didn't trust the banking system. The agency conducted the survey jointly with the VTsIOM polling center.

Since September, 44 percent of respondents saw their incomes dwindle while 9 percent reported an increase, the agency said Thursday. Thirty-six percent of Russia's adult population holds bank deposits.

The agency said 85 percent of respondents haven't acted to protect their deposits from the volatility of the exchange rate. The ruble slid 35 percent against the dollar between August and January as the recession eroded demand and froze credit markets. The ruble has strengthened 12 percent against the dollar since the end of January.

The survey of 1,600 Russians was conducted in March. The margin of error was 2.3 percentage points.