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Working paper

Depositor vigilance in the immediate aftermath of Russia's 1998 crisis: education, media freedom and Sberbank as a repository of trust

Pyle W., Schoors K., Semenova M., Yudaeva K.
In the immediate aftermath of Russia’s 1998 crisis household depositors withdrew money from the insolvent and state-owned Sberbank, despite its unique protection by two explicit government guarantees and its reputation of a repository of trust. This was less the case in well-educated, older, more conservative and remote regions and more so in wealthy, entrepreneurial and central regions, enjoying more media freedom. Survey data confirm that access to free media like NTV turns depositors more vigilant about their banks. Well educated people’s better understanding turns them less likely to run on Sberbank but more likely to run on other banks.