Economic protest VS irrevocable deposits — questions and answers
Following Pavel Latushka’s appeal, in which he urged Belarusians to withdraw deposits from banks more actively, and the subsequent publication on the threat of new financial restrictions, we started receiving questions on irrevocable deposits.
We have prepared a series of answers to key questions on this type of deposits for all those who already support (or are about to support) the economic protest and our "ATM-exchange-bank" action.
1. Firstly, what is an irrevocable deposit?
It is an agreement that (unlike a revocable deposit) does not provide for the return of funds before the deposit expires. In Belarus, such deposits appeared after the publication of Decree No. 7 of 11.11.2015.
There are ruble deposits and foreign currency deposits. The rates on them are slightly higher than on revocable deposits, which supposedly compensates for the inability to withdraw them before the deadline. In reality, attempts to really "make money" on deposits in Belarus make no sense, especially now.
2. Why does it not make sense to open irrevocable deposits? The rates are higher…
The head of the National Bank says so too. However, the reality is different. Money in irrevocable deposits will not simply "multiply", it will not even retain its current value. Even taking into account the interest. They will simply be "eaten up" by the growing inflation (MART is just getting ready to release the prices, as it is no longer possible to artificially restrain them) and the forthcoming devaluation.
"The credit" for this goes to the mediocre economic policies, such as#nbsp;the hidden emission conducted by the National Bank last year and the loans given to loss-making enterprises.
3. I support the economic protest, but I have an irrevocable deposit open. Surely it cannot be closed?
You can if your bank agrees to it. However, the bank is not legally obliged to do so, and the list of documents and reasons for withdrawing the deposit are determined by the bank itself. But even with them, the bank may refuse to close — and some banks in principle do not return irrevocable deposits ahead of time.
4. Оk, but is there still a chance of an irrevocable deposit being returned?
Yes. Usually, a special application is written for this purpose, stating the reason for the return, and it is accompanied by documents proving the objective need for the return. However, examples of reasons are generally related to difficult life situations and unforeseeable circumstances:
- moving abroad for a permanent residence permit
- loss of job
- loss of capacity for work
- death of a close relative
- serious damage to the home, etc.
5. If the bank agrees, will I get all my money back immediately?
No. The bank will probably take a few days to document the refund. Also, if you cancel early, the bank may recalculate the interest amount and you will lose the so-called income on the deposit.
Besides, even if there are good reasons, banks will now do everything to prevent you from closing your foreign currency deposits until 09.07.2021. On this date, the Law "On Amendments to the Laws on Currency Regulation and Currency Control" will come into force, allowing currency restrictions (up to a ban on foreign exchange transactions) to be imposed for a period of up to 1 year.
6. Where can I complain if the bank refuses to return my irrevocable deposit?
Unfortunately, complaining in this case is useless. Not even to the National Bank, which does not officially interfere in the contractual conditions between banks and their clients.
7. I have an irrevocable deposit, but it is about to expire. So, I will close it without any problems?
No, you won’t. It is better to check the contract for an extension clause. This can happen automatically unless you go to the bank in person. And it can extend the contract even without your consent.
8. So what conclusion should those who support the idea of economic protest reach?
Do not open any deposits in Belarusian banks — especially irrevocable ones. Pay attention that banks are trying hard to attract just such deposits — some of them even hold advertising games for the sake of it (like Belagroprombank).
After all, in this way they can use your money for a long time, while you in fact do not gain anything from it. On the contrary — in the current situation, there is an extremely high risk of complete depreciation, freezing or even expropriation of your deposits in favour of the criminal regime.
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