Russian online bank Tinkoff cuts new loans, says it can withstand shocks

MOSCOW, March 4 (Reuters) – Russian online bank Tinkoff said on Friday it had cut new lending and temporarily halted the offering of some lending products, but added that its capital reserves had been bolstered and that its activity was able to withstand severe shocks.

Tinkoff, who reported record annual profit on Friday, said he was in uncharted territory, eight days after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine sparked a huge wave of Western sanctions against Russian companies and banks.

“We are used to dealing with crises,” co-CEO Oliver Hughes said on an investor call. “It’s a very different crisis.

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“We have ample liquidity both in rubles and in foreign currencies. We have very strong capital cushions which have actually just been further reinforced by the central bank’s easing measures.”

Hughes said customers were panicking about where they could keep their money safe.

However, he said Tinkoff was “a little weird” seeing additional cash because it was not a sanctioned bank. It also retained functionality on Apple Pay and Google Pay for the time being.

The bank saw no signs of loan defaults, he said, and the central bank’s February 28 hike in interest rates to 20% encouraged customers to keep their money on deposit.

“We remain committed to servicing our debt,” said co-CEO Pavel Fedorov. “We are committed to remaining a public company.”

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Reporting by Reuters, editing by Louise Heavens and Susan Fenton

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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