Russia And USA Start Banking Dialogue

The Russian a American governments have encouraged the creation of a public-private Russian-American Banking Dialogue to discuss a banking reform in Russia, according to the White House press release issued on November 13. The sides "expect the private participants in the dialogue to begin meeting this winter and will be able to report to Russian and United States financial authorities by the spring of 2002". The dialogue would involve discussions among interested foreign and Russian banks, business and financial authorities aimed at identifying next public and private steps to be taken. These recommendations might include: expanding small and medium-sized business access to credit, lengthening the maturity of bank lending, levelling the playing field for Russian private banks labouring under the advantages enjoyed by public banks, building businesses willingness to finance themselves through bank borrowing, improving the supervisory and regulatory regime, establishing financial disclosure by banks and businesses, creating the basis for mortgages and financial leasing, expanding participation of foreign banks to provide infusions of capital and technical know-how.

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