The methodology of econometric approach to off-site monitoring of the Russian banking system is suggested. It includes econometric models of the probability of bank default, based on historical data on Russian bank defaults; models of ratings assigned to banks by rating agencies or experts, models of banks’ interest rates, and models of banks’ cost efficiency. Models are tested on real data in order to estimate possibility their potential use as part of Early Warning System in banks supervision.
Bank stabilization measures adopted by the Russian authorities since 2008 have benefited core state-owned financial institutions to a greater extent than other market participants. Public sector keeps swelling at the expense of domestic private sector. According to the author’s methodology, by January 2010 state-controlled banks possessed over 50 percent of all bank assets, thus putting Russia in the same league with China and India. Development banking and policy lending expand. A feature distinguishing Russia is gradual substitution of direct state control by indirect state ownership in the shape of corporate pyramids headed by state-owned enterprises and state-owned banks. We construct a dataset of bank-level statistical data for the period between 2001 and 2010 and find that quasi-private banks (indirectly state-owned banks) were the fastest growing subgroup. Nationalization and rehabilitation of failed banks was carried out by state-controlled banks and entities rather than by federal executive authorities directly. We suggest that the response of the Russian authorities to bank instability was consistent with long-term trends in the banking system evolution. Anti-crisis measures of 2008-9 re-aligned the sector with the traditional model of banking that rests upon dominant state-owned banks, directed lending, protectionism, administrative interference and elements of price controls. Increased government ownership of banks and control over lending activity are unlikely to be fully dismantled after the crisis is over. This scenario can nevertheless accommodate a tactical retreat of the state from non-core assets in the financial sector, leaving control over 3 largest institutions intact.
Using data on foreign borrowing, I identify Russian banks that were affected by the sudden stop of external financing caused by the Lehman Brothers’ collapse. Applying the difference-in-difference method, I compare these «affected» banks to «unaffected» ones and find that the Russian Central Bank’s (CBR) anti-crisis financial assistance primarily went to the former group. Tracing the impact of the CBR’s liquidity infusions on banks’ portfolio allocation decisions, I find that banks used CBR funds not only to pay out foreign debt, but also to accumulate cash deposits in non-resident banks. I also find that affected banks increased their holdings of market securities significantly more than unaffected ones, which suggests that the CBR’s bailout policies impacted their risk-taking strategies. While there was no significant difference in corporate lending growth between the two groups after the sudden stop, lending to borrowers with weaker banking relationships (individuals and entrepreneurs) decreased more among affected banks.
This paper uses the banking industry case to show that the boundaries of public property in Russia are blurred. A messy state withdrawal in 1990s left publicly funded assets beyond direct reach of official state bodies. While we identify no less than 50 state-owned banks in a broad sense, the federal government and regional authorities directly control just 4 and 12 institutions, respectively. 31 banks are indirectly state-owned, and their combined share of state-owned banks’ total assets grew from 11% to over a quarter between 2001 and 2010. The state continues to bear financial responsibility for indirectly owned banks, while it does not benefit properly from their activity through dividends nor capitalization nor policy lending. Such banks tend to act as quasi private institutions with weak corporate governance. Influential insiders (top-managers, current and former civil servants) and cronies extract their rent from control over financial flows and occasional appropriation of parts of bank equity.
The paper examines the structure, governance, and balance sheets of state-controlled banks in Russia, which accounted for over 55 percent of the total assets in the country's banking system in early 2012. The author offers a credible estimate of the size of the country's state banking sector by including banks that are indirectly owned by public organizations. Contrary to some predictions based on the theoretical literature on economic transition, he explains the relatively high profitability and efficiency of Russian state-controlled banks by pointing to their competitive position in such functions as acquisition and disposal of assets on behalf of the government. Also suggested in the paper is a different way of looking at market concentration in Russia (by consolidating the market shares of core state-controlled banks), which produces a picture of a more concentrated market than officially reported. Lastly, one of the author's interesting conclusions is that China provides a better benchmark than the formerly centrally planned economies of Central and Eastern Europe by which to assess the viability of state ownership of banks in Russia and to evaluate the country's banking sector.
The paper examines the principles for the supervision of financial conglomerates proposed by BCBS in the consultative document published in December 2011. Moreover, the article proposes a number of suggestions worked out by the authors within the HSE research team.