The Emerging Russian Banking System
25 Pages Posted: 30 Sep 1998
Date Written: August 1998
Value-added in Russian banks grew 43 percent while GDP declined 32 percent in the early years of the transition. This paper offers explanations for the unusual success of the Russian banking sector and the determinants of individual bank performance. The evidence comes from balance sheet data for 563 Moscow banks and 160 regional banks on January 1, 1995 and January 1, 1996. Important factors include the Central Bank policy of channeling low-interest directed credits to state enterprises through banks, the ability of banks to obtain large-scale interest-free deposits, and the resulting high interest rate spreads in an environment of high inflation, and the extent to which banks were formerly part of the Soviet system.
JEL Classification: G21, P2, O16
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation