How RAB planted the seeds of Russia’s rural recovery
Fast-growing Russian Agricultural Bank plays a key role in promoting economic development in the Russian countryside. Guy Norton talks to Yuri Trushin, the bank’s chairman, about the challenges it faces.
ACCORDING TO YURI Trushin, chief executive officer and chairman of the board of Rosselkhozbank (Russian Agricultural Bank or RAB), the bank’s mission statement is a simple one: "We’re the gene fund for Russia." As mission statements go that’s a pretty dramatic one.
It’s a measure of the political importance of the bank’s role in reviving rural Russia – home to 25% of the country’s 140 million population – that RAB was created barely three months after president Vladimir Putin came to power at the start of 2000.
It’s an even greater measure that having been created with just $11 million of seed capital from the government, the bank has now grown at breakneck speed to become one of the country’s top 10 banks. It now boasts a $15 billion balance sheet, $1.2 billion in equity capital, $9 billion in assets and 1,000 offices spanning the length and breadth of the Russian Federation.