The White House, President George W. Bush Click to print this document

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
November 13, 2001

Russian-American Banking Dialogue Fact Sheet
Russian-American Banking Dialogue

In light of growing interest in banking reform in Russia and the plans being developed by Russian authorities, the United States and Russian Governments have encouraged the creation of a public-private Russian-American Banking Dialogue.

A safe, sound, transparent and competitive banking sector is essential to sustain economic growth and give increasing numbers of Russian individuals and businesses access to private capital.  Currently, only three percent of Russian investment is financed by bank lending.  Banks, their customers and the financial authorities that regulate them can all benefit from improved communications in formulating reform plans.  By bringing together those who share an interest in addressing banking problems, such a dialogue can help establish practical priorities for public and private actions that will build a vibrant banking sector in Russia.

The dialogue will help define key challenges and provide recommendations to address them.  These might include:

-    Expanding small and medium-sized business access to credit -    Lengthening the maturity of bank lending -    Leveling the playing field for Russian private banks laboring 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 other collateralized lending and financial leasing -    Expanding participation of foreign banks to provide infusions of capital and technical know-how.

The dialogue would involve discussions among interested foreign and Russian banks, businesses and financial authorities aimed at identifying next public and private steps to be taken.  We 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.

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