The National Bank of Belarus (NBB) is taking no extraordinary measures to support the liquidity of banks, Syarhey Dubkow, a member of the NBB Board, told reporters in Minsk on Tuesday.
The National Bank provided increased liquidity support in January and February, but now the "situation has stabilized", Mr. Dubkow said. The position of most banks is in line with liquidity standards, he added. If the banking sector ensures payment discipline, so will the financial sector because banks control 97 percent of its assets, Mr. Dubkow said. The NBB is determined to minimize the risks for individuals' bank deposits, he said.
The required minimum for the equity capital of a bank accepting individuals' deposits will increase from ?10 million to ?25 million on January 1, 2010, Mr. Dubkow said. "The requirement is tough", he noted. Some banks have already been warned against their plans to postpone the fulfillment of the requirement until the last possible date, he added. The NBB would like the banks to bring their equity capital into compliance with the new requirement by the end of the second or third quarter, not the fourth one, and to provide more detailed information about their sources of finance, Mr. Dubkow said.
What the NBB requires is realistic and the response of banks' stockholders has been "adequate", he said. Alfa Bank has already increased its equity capital up to ?25 million and several banks are close to doing the same, he noted. If a bank fails to meet the requirement, the National Bank will suspend or cancel its license, Mr. Dubkow warned. According to him, 26 of Belarus' 31 banks have licenses to accept deposits from individuals.