MOSCOW, Jan 22 (Reuters) - A number of Russian banks, including large ones, will close down amid the current crisis, head of VTB 24, a retail arm of the country's second-biggest lender VTB, said on Thursday.
"We expect contraction in the number of small, medium and large banks this year. The crisis is affecting all sectors of the economy, including the banking system. It will be hard for all banks, the weakest (ones) will leave the market," Mikhail Zadornov, VTB 24 head, told reporters.
He also said he expected the central bank to keep its main refinancing rate at 17 percent during the first quarter.
Reporting by Alexander Winning; Writing by Maria Kiselyova, Editing by Gabriela Baczynska