Evolution, Problems and Prospects
Edited by David Lane
Chapter 4: The View from the Ground: Case Studies of Three Major Banks (Sberbank, Uneximbank/Rosbank, Bank of Moscow)
4. The view from the ground: case studies of three major banks (Sberbank, Uneximbank/Rosbank, Bank of Moscow) David Lane and Irene Lavrentieva Reminiscent of the early days of the Industrial Revolution in the West, at the beginning of the period of marketization, the number of commercial banks in 1992 was 1215 and the number grew to reach 1605 by 1996. By 2 000, there were 1338 banks (‘credit organizations’ as they are deﬁned by the Central Bank of Russia), of which 21 were completely foreign owned. (For details see Appendix 1.2, Chapter 1 of this collection). While large in number by contemporary European standards, the USA, due to legal and other constraints, has an even larger number of banks. In the 1920s in the USA there were over 20 000 banks and even today the number still runs into ﬁve ﬁgures. In 1995, there were 10 958 FEIC-insured commercial banks, 2 262 savings institutions and 12 317 credit unions. (Data from US Bureau of the Census, Statistical Abstract of United States for 1995. Washington DC 1995, 518.) These banks vary tremendously in size of assets, liabilities, capital and number of branches. A small number of banks dominates the banking sector and there is a long tail of very small banks. Appendix 4.1 to this chapter ranks the top 50 Russian banks by size of assets in 2001. The table lists their location, number of branches and employees, assets, capital, levels of retail and corporate deposits.1 It is clearly impossible...
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