Central Bank Cancels 3 Lenders' Licenses

The Central Bank has revoked the licenses of three small Moscow-based banks.

The Central Bank has revoked the licenses of three small Moscow-based banks, pressing its crackdown on money laundering and risky operations in the country's banking sector.

The regulator said on Tuesday it had revoked licensees from three banks — Russky Zemelny Bank, S-Bank and Bank Stroikredit. It said it had also revoked the licence of ZAO MIGOM, which offered a money transfer service.

Since Elvira Nabiullina, a former economy minister and aide to President Vladimir Putin, became Central Bank chief in June last year, the bank has stepped up a campaign to clean up the banking sector, whittling down Russia's hundreds of banks.

It said in a statement that Russky Zemelny Bank, which offered credit to small and medium business as well as providing mortgages, had breached laws against money laundering and on financing "terrorism." The bank's "dubious" operations amounted to 15 billion rubles ($413.3 million) in 2013, it said.

S-Bank and Bank Stroikredit were placed under administration after failing to build the necessary reserves to cushion against "risky operations," the Central Bank said.

The bank said it had withdrawn the license from ZAO MIGOM for failing to build up reserves and to pay off loans on time.

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