MOSCOW, October 17 (RAPSI) – The Consumer Protection Society petitioned the Bank Of Russia to lift the ban on 5,000 ruble bills in ATMs. Last week, major Russian banks temporarily blocked their ATMs from accepting 5,000 ($155) bills – the biggest denomination available in Russia – after Moscow was flooded with counterfeit bills designed specifically to evade ATM protection measures.

A sudden increase in fake notes found prompted Russia’s biggest bank, Sberbank, as well as major banks VTB24, Bank of Moscow and Alfa Bank to make their Moscow ATMs to stop taking 5,000-ruble notes. This decision was met with much grumbling on social networks, given that such notes are still widely used in Russia, including for salary payments.

The consumer watchdog called the ban a dubious measure, damaging the people’s trust in the banking system. The watchdog also expressed concern that following the ATM ban, retailers and services providers will soon follow.

The Consumer Protection Society further stated, that this will cause a delay in loan and mortgage payments, which will lead to severe damage to the citizens’ credit rating. The watchdog believes that the banks are protecting their commercial interests at the expense of their clients by minizing risks in the most blunt way possible.