Russia’s central bank says it is considering rescuing B&N Bank, one of the country’s largest private lenders, from what would be the second collapse of a top bank in three weeks.

The central bank told the Financial Times on Wednesday that Mikhail Gutseriev, the oligarch whose Safmar Group owns B&N Bank, had asked it to rescue it through a new fund. “We will take a decision on this issue in the near future,” the central bank said.

B&N Bank, Russia’s 12th largest bank by assets, is one of three top privately held banks highly exposed to Otkritie – Russia’s largest private lender until the central bank rescued it last month – through an informal group known as the “Garden Ring.” The central bank estimates Otkritie may have a balance sheet hole of up to Rbs400bn; senior Russian bankers say the final total may be twice that.

Read more:

Russia steps in to stave off Otkritie collapse (Aug 29)

Otkritie’s fall shows depth of problems in Russia’s banking sector (Aug 31)

Elvira Nabiullina hunts down Russia’s banking ‘banditry’(Oct 2016)

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