MOSCOW, June 22 (Reuters) - Russia’s central bank on Friday revoked the licence of Mosuralbank, whose investors include the ex-wife of Igor Sechin, a powerful associate of President Vladimir Putin and the head of the country’s largest oil firm Rosneft.
The central bank is cleaning up Russia’s banking sector, which has been hit by poor corporate governance practices, money laundering and sanctions. In the past five years, the central bank has shut more than 450 banks and in 2017 spent more than $40 billion bailing out three major lenders.
It said it decided to revoke the licence of Mosuralbank, ranked number 269 by assets as of June 1, as the lender had supplied the Bank of Russia with “markedly false reporting”.
“Lending and deals with individuals, connected to the beneficiaries of the lending organisation, resulted in accumulation of a substantial size of troubled assets on its balance sheet,” the central bank said in a statement.
As of late May, Marina Sechina, who was divorced from the Rosneft CEO in 2011, owned a stake in Mosuralbank through a number of regional utility companies, including Arkhenergosbyt, Vologdaenergosbyt and Roskommunenergo, central bank data showed.
There was no suggestion of any wrongdoing by Sechina, who was not immediately available for comment on Friday. Because Sechina owns stakes in a number of companies that in turn have holdings in the bank, her exact stake is not clear. (Reporting by Tatiana Voronova and Anton Kolodyazhnyy Writing by Andrey Ostroukh Editing by Alexander Smith)