'We can talk about experiencing a credit boom in Russia over the last four years because the growth of credit in the economy over that period has been 41.7%,' said First Deputy Central Bank Chairman Andrei Kozlov at a session of the Federation Council's interregional bank council yesterday. According to the Central Bank, the ratio of bank credits in the economy to gross domestic product was 15.3% on 1 September 2003. At the beginning of 2000 it was only 9.2%.
Nevertheless, Kozlov said that although there is an increase in credit in the economy, Russian companies continue to experience a shortage of credit resources. To improve this situation, Kozlov proposes improving the protection of creditors' rights in correspondence with international practice, develop mortgage lending and simplify credit procedures for small business. Kozlov says that passing a law on credit histories will be an especially important step for further developing the credit market.