Russian Financial Transition: The Development of Institutions and Markets for Growth
A well-developed financial intermediation industry increases domestic savings, efficiently allocates investment resources to the most productive uses in the economy and increases the rate of economic growth. In the Soviet economy the banking system served as a means of collecting household savings and a means of distributing centrally determined capital grants to enterprises. Banks then audited enterprise financial activities to ensure compliance to the financial plan. After a decade the transition from the Soviet banking system to a market oriented banking system is incomplete and fraught with uncertainty. While the number of financial institutions has increased dramatically, the state sector still dominates financial sector activity, the legal and regulatory framework is incomplete, information necessary for risk management is of poor quality and policy makers and regulators have been slow to act to improve intermediation services. While significant progress has been made, the commonly recognized characteristics of a sound financial system are not yet met.
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