In the wake of tens of thousands of emigrants on the “philosophical steamship” from Russia, citizens’ savings began to leave. After the easing of restrictions on foreign exchange transactions and the sharp strengthening of the ruble in July, individuals bought a record 237.1 billion rubles worth of currency on the stock exchange.

Purchases had made mainly through banks that retained the ability to withdraw funds abroad. The Central Bank of the Russian Federation notes in the Review of Financial Market Risks. And although people bought about $4 billion in cashless form in a month, the amount of currency in their accounts not only did not increase, but even decreased – by $3 billion.

This may indicate “a rather large-scale outflow to foreign accounts”, Yehor Susin, managing director of Gazprombank Private Banking, points out. In a month, people could withdraw about $7 billion or more than $1.5 billion per week.

The central bank, which had to contend with the sharp strengthening of the ruble, dared to open “borders” for citizens’ savings.