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PRESS RELEASE

Statement at the Conclusion of Financial Sector Assessment Program Mission to Russian Federation

March 30, 2016


End-of-Mission press releases include statements of IMF/World Bank staff teams that convey preliminary findings after a visit to a country. The views expressed in this statement are those of the IMF and World Bank staff and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF’s and WB’s Executive Boards. Based on the preliminary findings of this mission, staff will prepare a report that, subject to management approval, will be presented to the IMF's and WB’s Executive Board for discussion and decision.

A joint International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank (WB) mission, led by Mr. Karl Habermeier (IMF) and Ms. Aurora Ferrari (WB), visited Moscow during March 15–30, 2016 to conduct an assessment under the Financial Sector Assessment Program (FSAP). The FSAP assessed financial sector strengths and vulnerabilities, and reviewed the supervisory framework, contingency arrangements, and measures to promote financial sector development. The mission met with Ms. Elvira Nabiullina, Governor of the Central Bank of Russia (CBR), other senior central bank and government officials, as well as financial sector representatives, including banks.

At the conclusion of the mission, Mr. Habermeier and Ms. Ferrari issued the following statement:

‘The Russian economy remains in recession. The sharp decline in oil prices and sanctions continue to negatively affect economic growth and the financial sector.

‘The authorities’ decisive policy response, which included liquidity provision, capital support, and temporary regulatory forbearance, helped to keep the banking system stable. The FSAP team and the authorities discussed actions to make the banking system stronger and more resilient to downside risks: the ongoing closure of weak banks, improvements to the resolution framework, a review of asset quality, and steps to strengthen banks’ capital.

‘With the transformation of the CBR into a mega regulator, supervision of the financial sector has been enhanced. The FSAP team conducted assessments of the adherence to international standards in the areas of banking supervision, securities markets, and insurance. These assessments will serve to inform the further development of comprehensive risk-based supervision of the financial sector. The authorities have also made considerable progress in establishing an effective macroprudential policy framework, and are encouraged to expand the range of macroprudential policy tools.

‘Over the medium and longer terms, the diversification and deepening of the financial sector are priorities to support strong and sustainable economic growth. Currently, financial intermediation provides a relatively low contribution to growth. Comprehensive measures need to be taken to raise financial inclusion and the efficiency of the highly concentrated and mostly state-owned banking system.

The global financial crisis showed that the health and functioning of a country’s financial sector has far-reaching implications for its economy as well as for other economies. The Financial Sector Assessment Program (FSAP), established in 1999, is a comprehensive and in-depth analysis of a country’s financial sector. FSAP assessments are the joint responsibility of the IMF and World Bank in developing economies and emerging markets and of the IMF alone in advanced economies. The FSAP includes two major components: a financial stability assessment, which is the responsibility of the IMF, and a financial development assessment, the responsibility of the World Bank. To date, more than three-quarters of the member countries have undergone assessments. For more information, visit http://www.imf.org/external/np/exr/facts/fsap.htm and www.worldbank.org/fsap

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PRESS RELEASE NO:
2016/ECA/112

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