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|23 feb 2018|
Мichael Delyagin: "State Banks in Their Present State Are Ideal Corruption Tool"
- The bank system of Russia is characterized by total presence of the state in the capital of many largest banks. What's your opinion what the reason of such state of affairs is, if to consider, for example, that the state has been getting rid of insurance assets consistently and for long time? If the role of such factor as "the Soviet heritage" is great?
- Insurance business is more complicated and realization of corruption interests in it in comparison with bank sphere at the level of (non)competence developed in the state is complicated. On the other hand, basic part of the Russian insurance companies, as soon as it's possible to judge, are reinsured in the developed countries, the fact essentially "ties their hand and foot". The state can't incur corresponding risks (because of problems with competence and refusal of modernization which doesn't allow to create rather reliable assets) - while to put assets under open foreign control (and reinsurance abroad leads to it) is institutionally senseless for it.
- Whether it's true that for today the state needs all existing bank assets, after all because of desire to be universal there's practically no specialized (for solving of specific targets) banks among them?
- Today the state doesn't solve any large public problems - accordingly it doesn't need specialized (under these problems) banks. For solving of corruption problems universal banks are most adapted - and process of universalization of the State Banks is brightly visible on example of Sberbank which earning basic part of its profit on corporate clients this year starts, as it is possible to judge, the policy of active forcing of clients - physical persons - out.
I think, after a while universalization process will touch also on Rosselhozbank - if it, of course, will not be privatized (that will put an end to its specialization automatically).
- How much state presence constrains competition in the bank market or expansion of foreign players? In general, to what extend presence of large state banks helps/harms development of the market?
- State presence in the market, certainly, limits competition0 - but this restriction can be both positive and necessary: nobody, except the Mafiosi and speculators, needs "wild market" and large state banks in conditions of general weakness of regulation are capable to influence commercial colleagues simply by force of example.
Presence of large state banks limits market development only in case of presence of real control over them from the state, however in today's Russia such control, as one can see, is not present and it's possible to talk only about unfair competition (as state banks can get access to the state money easier, than private banks). When this control will be restored, it, of course, will limit the market but as the experiment shows this restriction can not only lower but also raise general efficiency of economy.
- Authorities have almost unlimited possibility to influence tendencies in the bank market directly. For example, in the field of interest rates under deposits of physical persons which consistently decrease on all bank sector when Sberbank undertakes similar steps. At the same time they fail to make, for example, such necessary product as mortgage mass and accessible. What do you think, why it happens?
- In conditions of corruption and monopolism mortgage was the way of overestimating of prices for real estate but not of increases of its availability. Banks, as a matter of fact, provided superprofits of developers, it's naive to wait that they will refuse their piece. Decrease in percent on deposits of physical persons, on the contrary, is favourable to bank system: limiting price competition it raises income of banks - therefore state banks agree on it with pleasure.
- In your opinion what the basic tendencies of development of bank market of the country will be in the nearest and mid-term prospect from the point of view of presence of the state?
- Efficiency of state banks will continue to decrease, the state will sell packages of their shares within the limits of strategic operations of this or that degree of closeness. However as a whole situation won't change: state banks in their present form are ideal corruption tool and to afford their loss (or reduction of their number) is necessary to begin fight against corruption seriously.
But such struggle, as it is possible to judge, is rather close to undermining of political system.
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