Sberbank criticized for poor management

Despite efforts to keep him quiet, independent Sberbank board member Vadim Kleiner on Tuesday reiterated accusations of poor management at the retail-banking monopoly and raised more concerns about its inefficiency.

The Sberbank supervisory board on December 24 passed a resolution condemning a presentation that Kleiner had given in London earlier that month as violating joint-stock company law and damaging the bank's reputation. In that presentation, Kleiner accused Sberbank of cheating both investors, by wasting value, and retail customers - the Russian population - by subsidizing loans at their expense. Kleiner said that Sberbank lost out on $1 billion of net income - which was $911 million in 2001 under international accounting standards - by giving loss-making loans to management and cheap money to corporate majors, while exercising poor cost controls.

During a conference call Tuesday, Kleiner expressed concerns about the decline in loan provisions in the first nine months of 2002 compared to the same period in 2001 and a dramatic 46-percent increase in staff costs, which he said were already high, the St. Petersburg Times reported.

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