The head of the Russian Federal Financial Monitoring Service, Viktor Zubkov, has categorically denied that his organization has drawn up or will draw up any black lists of problem banks. Mr. Zubkov is currently leading a Russian delegation at a session of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in Paris.
Zubkov pointed out he had spoken about countering money laundering as part of his body's work in the wake of the Sodbiznesbank scandal and that the monitoring service was looking at about a dozen banks that had problems with their documentation.
Mr. Zubkov said that no banks had been identified as being so obviously involved in money laundering as Sodbiznezbank. He denied that either his body or the Central Bank had any black lists. The monitoring service head said that any talk about this was just another attempt to muddy the waters in the banking sector. "This means," he said, "those who want to gain an advantage in the competitive battle and invent 'black lists' to do this."
Mr. Zubkov continued that his service's task was to follow how anti-money laundering legislation was observed, while he added that the inevitably involved are cooperating with other agencies.
In his opinion, there is absolutely no reason to talk about a banking crisis in Russia. "We have a healthy banking system," he stressed. "So there is no crisis and there will not be one."