Russian banks should play a leading role in developing the Russian capital market, while at present this is far from being the case, Kurt Geiger, the EBRD Director for Financial Institutions, announced at a press conference in St. Petersburg today. According to him, Russian economic growth requires that banks be more active as financial intermediaries connecting individual savings and businessmen searching for money to develop their businesses. At present, only 4 percent of fixed capital investments in domestic companies are backed by banking credits, and 75 percent of banking credits granted to Russian corporations are short-term, Geiger noted.
According to Geiger, the Russian interbank market is also underdeveloped owing to a lack of mutual confidence between banks. One of the possible ways to solve this problem is increasing bank transparency, Geiger stressed.
Geiger also said that the EBRD had invested funds in the Russian bank Vneshtorgbank. Additionally, the EBRD is planning to invest up to $50m in Russian financial intermediaries and grant up to $300m in credits to Russian businessmen.