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Russia's Long and Winding Road to a more Efficient and Resilient Banking Sector


  • Geoff Barnard



In the decade following the 1998 financial crisis Russia’s banking system grew much larger and stronger – indeed, growth rates were dangerously high – but even before the onset of the current global crisis it continued to play a limited role in intermediating savings and investment, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises. Moreover, despite important improvements, some weaknesses in prudential supervision remained, and the Russian banking sector continued to have too many very small banks doing little if any banking business. This paper discusses the policy imperatives in the short term, in the face of the ongoing economic crisis, and reforms that could be implemented over the longer term to improve the efficiency and resilience of the financial system and raise Russia’s potential growth rate. While the current crisis is painful for the banking sector as well as the broader economy, it may facilitate a restructuring of the system that will be positive in the long run, as well as new approaches to regulation that will make banking less crisis-prone. Vers un secteur bancaire russe plus efficace et résilient en Russie Pendant la décennie après la crise de 1998 le système bancaire russe est devenu beaucoup plus grand et fort – les taux de croissance étaient même inquiétants – mais même avant le début de la crise mondiale actuelle il a continué à jouer un rôle limité dans l’intermédiation de l’épargne et l’investissement, surtout pour les petites et moyennes entreprises. D’ailleurs, malgré des pas en avant importants, il restait des faiblesses dans la surveillance prudentielle, et le secteur bancaire avait toujours trop de banques minuscules qui avaient très peu de vraies activités bancaires. Cette étude aborde les principaux défis pour la politique envers les banques à court terme étant donné le contexte de crise économique, et les réformes qui pourraient être mises en œuvre à plus long terme afin d’augmenter l’efficacité et la stabilité du secteur bancaire et de hausser le taux de croissance de la production potentielle. La crise actuelle, tout en étant douloureuse pour le secteur bancaire et l’économie, pourrait faciliter une restructuration du système qui serait positive à long terme, ainsi que des nouvelles approches à la réglementation qui aideront à diminuer la vulnérabilité du système aux crises.

Suggested Citation

  • Geoff Barnard, 2009. "Russia's Long and Winding Road to a more Efficient and Resilient Banking Sector," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 731, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:731-en

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    Cited by:

    1. Roland Beck & Geoff Barnard, 2009. "Towards a Flexible Exchange Rate Policy in Russia," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 744, OECD Publishing.

    More about this item


    accountability; assurance; assurance des dépôts; banking; banque; comptabilité; corruption; corruption; deposit insurance; economy; international financial reporting standards; norme comptable internationale; propriété de l’État; prudential supervision; Russia; Russie; Sberbank; Sberbank; state ownership; surveillance prudentielle; transition; transition; transparence; transparency; économie;

    JEL classification:

    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • O52 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Europe
    • P29 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Other

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