The National Bank proposes to introduce a moratorium on reducing the network of branches of state banks during the war

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The National Bank of Ukraine appealed to the Ministry of Finance of Ukraine and the management of state-owned banks with a proposal to introduce a moratorium on reducing the network of branches of state-owned banks during the war. This is stated in the letter signed by the Chairman of the NBU Andriy Pyshny.

State banks occupy a significant share in the banking system of Ukraine. During the period of martial law, their uninterrupted operation is of particular importance for the economy and security of the state, given the large number of customers, the extensive network of branches (about 50% of all bank branches) and ATMs (65% of the total ATM network).

Recently, the National Bank has received complaints from territorial communities regarding the reduction of the presence of state banks in the regions due to the closing of branches. The suspension of the work of individual departments is connected both with the need to ensure the safety of employees and with the optimization of costs, taking into account the decrease in profitability due to military aggression by the Russian Federation.

Individual decisions taken by public sector banks to minimize costs, namely to significantly reduce the bank network and staff, require detailed individual analysis and possibly revision. After all, the economic efficiency of such decisions can be reduced by a negative social effect and pose potential threats to the national security of Ukraine, hinder the neutralization of the consequences of military aggression and the post-war recovery of the economy.

“Socially responsible banking should become a priority for all financial institutions during the war, primarily for state banks. Ensuring the maximum availability of financial services for the population today is one of the strategic tasks of their activities. We also hope for the appropriate reaction of other systemically important banks, because the goal of ensuring the availability of banking services for the broadest segments of the population was also decisive during the development of our joint banking network POWER BANKING, which provides citizens and businesses with access to banking operations, despite the consequences of energy terror from the Russian Federation Andriy Pishnyi noted.

Therefore, the National Bank proposes to the Ministry of Finance to consider the possibility of introducing a moratorium on the termination of branch operations by banks with a state share in the capital until the end of martial law (if it is not related to security issues).

In order to maintain the economy and ensure financial stability, regional networks of public sector banks must provide uninterrupted customer service. The priority task should also be to restore the activities of banks in the liberated territories as soon as possible, taking into account the need and the possibility of ensuring the safety of bank personnel and their customers.

At the same time, the National Bank supports the initiative of individual banks to ensure the availability of banking services through the use of mobile branches.

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