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Fact Sheet: U.S.-Russia Banking Dialogue

May 24, 2002

In November 2001, Presidents Bush and Putin welcomed the creation of a private-sector led U.S.-Russia Banking Dialogue to support the building of a vigorous banking sector in Russia that turns Russians' savings into investment and jobs.

The dialogue has worked to lend a unique perspective to banking reform in Russia by bringing together representatives of Russian small, medium and large banks; foreign banks; banking and business associations; and small and medium businesses.

During their meetings in Moscow, Dialogue participants presented the two Presidents with a report containing specific, concrete reform recommendations. These recommendations build on the Russian Government's banking reform strategy and identify steps that the private sector believes will produce early and tangible results. The report is a valuable and timely document. Its recommendations include measures to address the following challenges:

  • Leveling the playing field for private and state-owned banks, addressing in particular the phasing out of state ownership of commercial banks and changes to laws and regulations to improve private banks' ability to compete.
  • Expanding small and medium-sized business access to credit by removing unnecessary administrative burdens on banks that increase the cost of lending to small business and supporting a more active role for well-regulated credit cooperatives and other non-bank financial institutions that service underserved regions and sectors.
  • Reducing bureaucratic burdens on banks. This could include adopting international standards for supervision and regulation, as well as changing laws and regulations to give banks access to risk management tools in line with international best practices.
  • Increasing transparency among banks and their clients with the timely adoption of international accounting standards and improving information exchange among banks.
  • Bolstering creditor rights by strengthening laws on collateral, training judges, and improving the legal basis for collateralized lending, such as mortgages and financial leasing.
  • Reducing administrative and tax burdens and deepening liquidity in the system consistent with prudential standards.
  • Sharing international best practices through private bank contacts and training programs, some of which could be sponsored by the Dialogue.

George W. Bush, Fact Sheet: U.S.-Russia Banking Dialogue Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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