Corruption Reported At Central Bank

An independent study released Tuesday warns of the deep-reaching roots feeding corruption at the Central Bank. "The Central Bank as an independent, absolutely opaque and uncontrolled administrative-financial system did not arise by chance or overnight," said the authors of the study - the Moscow Carnegie Center and Dmitry Vasilyev, former head of the Federal Securities Commission - in a 70-page report. Vasilyev said in an interview that one of the major "corruption-causing" problems with the bank is that it regulates the entire banking industry while being a profit-seeking participant. Another problem is the lack of clear, straightforward grounds for issuing licenses or approving operations, which provides ample opportunities for bribery. The Central Bank uses its self-given right to categorize any information pertaining to its activities as "secret" to avoid disclosing such things as salaries and pension benefits of top managers. In addition, the secrecy provides a material incentive to speculate on the state securities and currencies markets, Vasilyev said. The Central Bank would not comment officially on the report, the St. Petersburg Times reported