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Bank reform takes on new urgency

The mini bank crisis Russians faced in the summer has underscored the urgent need for bank sector reform and the creation of a system that can respond to the credit needs of businesses and individuals.

The foreigners are coming

Cabinet defines new banking sector strategy


THE PARALYSIS OF parts of Russia's banking system has wreaked havoc on some of the minority of Russians that have accounts.

"I don't know what to do," says Dinar Akhmetov, who runs his own tax consultancy. "I have to pay about $10,000 to the tax authorities on behalf of my clients this week but all the money is in the bank and the most they offered me was $100 until this month. The tax people told me it is my problem."

It is early August in Moscow when Akhmetov pours out his tale of woe. The Russian banking system has survived a mini-crisis that first broke out in May and threatened to bring the whole financial edifice down by the middle of July. Bankers say the worst is now over. But  serious damage has been done to confidence and more banks will almost certainly go to the wall later this year. Akhmetov had more than $30,000 deposited in Dialog Optim, a successful medium-size bank, which is the latest victim of the mini-crisis.

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