19 June 2018, Tuesday, 3:53

Belarusians Start Withdrawing Cash From Bank Cards En Masse


The BSB Bank’s clients complain there have already been “problems with the cards, they were refused in shops and at petrol stations”.

There has been no crowd in the BSB Bank’s offices yet. The administrators presume a mass inflow of clients on Monday. “So far, it’s like a lull before the storm”, — they say with a sad smile. It has been reported that four banks — Belinvestbank, Belagroprombank, BPS-Sberbank and Priorbank — blocked the BSB Bank’s cards. According to оnliner.by, Belarusbank plans to do the same.

Clients come to the branch at Yanka Kupala, 25 every five minutes. The queues are relatively small — 10-15 people. Administrators offer tea or coffee and sit clients on red sofas.

— I heard that you now have problems with the cards, but what if I wait for a $ 5000 transfer? When can I issue a new card? — a guy with an accent says, refusing to believe the bank will no longer work with individuals.

— Yes, no more working with individuals, — the administrator says. — Since June 26. We will work all days, including week-ends. Do not worry, your money will not be lost. You can receive it later in the bank-attorney — this is the "Moscow-Minsk Bank".

— It's some sort of nightmare, I'm almost on vacation, and such situation occurs, " —a good-looking lady says on the phone. "Now you cannot open the card so quickly."

— I tried to pay for groceries in Korona store with it, but they did not accept it, — her neighbour says. — They said it was something wrong with the terminals.

— We do not know yet whether we will be fired or transferred to other departments. To be honest, the news was totally unexpected, — the administrators confess.

There’s no crowd in the branch located at Freedom Square either. People sit on the couches and wait for their turn.

— There have been few people so far, it’s like a lull before the storm, — the administrator says. — We are expecting an inflow since Monday.

— Why did not the National Bank indicate the reason for revoking the license? The BSB in general was indignant with this decision yesterday. What's happening? Some strange games, — the people are talking. — We thought it was a reliable Swiss bank, and see how it turned out.

— It’s sort of unclear what will happen with the salary projects? They cannot be transferred so quickly. What if someone is on vacation? They also pay an advance on the first day of month. In general, it’s total inconvenience.

At Dziarzhynski Street 8, the people are withdrawing money, discussing which bank to choose.

— It’s unclear, what is better – MTB Bank, Priorbank, Alpha? — two friends are discussing.

— Yeah, they messed it all up indeed, they could have given the people at least a month, — the clients say, taking away their cash.

— And what about those who are already abroad and will not return before the 26th? I imagine, you go to an ATM, confident that you will withdraw money, and the card does not work. I would have had a stroke, — the people in the queue discuss, in the branch near the Belarus Hotel.

— They didn’t think about the people at all, — a middle-aged man says. — They decided something among themselves, gave us a week and — do whatever you wish.

The National Bank has not announced the specific reason for revoking the license for operations with individuals. The official statement was as follows: "The decision was made taking into account violations and shortcomings revealed in the course of the bank's audit."

— The bewilderment expressed by the BSB Bank indicates that they had no desire to establish a dialogue with the regulator. And this means that there is no sufficient level of corporate culture and the desire to comply with corporate ethics, — the representatives of the National Bank noted. The regulator did not provide any other details.

As early as June 26, the bank will stop servicing physical persons. Further, the bank-attorney Bank Moscow-Minsk will deal with the return of money. According to the regulator, there were practically no deposits of physical persons in the bank, only current accounts, which the bank will be obligated to cover until this time.