Sberbank Hosts the Meeting of the Board of Administration of the World Savings Banks Institute (WSBI)

Nov 13, 2003

 The meeting of the Board of Administration of the World Savings Banks Institute (WSBI) took place in Moscow at the Head Office of Sberbank on 14 November 2003. A meeting of such kind was held in Russia for the first time. Participants included heads and representatives of savings banks from Austria, UK, Germany, Spain, Malaysia, Holland, US, Japan and other countries.

The participants were addressed by Mr Sergei Ignatiev, Chairman of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, who spoke of the major trends of development of the Russian banking sector. Mr Andrei Kazmin, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Sberbank, Vice President of WSBI emphasised in his speech the systemic role of Sberbank in the Russian banking sector and its crucial mission for the socio-economic development of the country. An issue of WSBI publication "Perspectives"on the Russian banking sector and the leading role of Sberbank was presented to the meeting.

Amongst the major issues on the agenda was the development of the WSBI work programme for the year 2004. The programme provides for the implementation of provisions of the Madrid Declaration, unanimously adopted this May by the WSBI General Assembly.

The Madrid Declaration covers the major concerns of the WSBI members. It is emphasised that the financial sector requires pluralistic environment in view of the increasing globalisation and that savings and retail banks play a significant role in the socio-economic development on regional and national levels. It is also stressed that the interests of savings and retail banks working closely with individual customers, should be advocated when reforming international financial regulation and banking sector.

In an interview after the meeting for the Russian media, the WSBI President Dr Holger Berndt stressed that national banking systems should be subject to re-organisation only when relevant and with great care, in consideration of specific country features, so that institutions that have been showing good performance in banking business over time are preserved and the general public continues to enjoy wide access to financial services.

The Board outlined further steps to strengthen WSBI as the global voice of savings and socially committed retail banks. WSBI wishes that the mission of savings banks as indispensable credit and financial institutions offering banking services to all retail and corporate customers, including SME, should be fully realised.

The participants also discussed WSBI's current business, specifically, its technical assistance services and exchange of knowledge and information in the banking sector. WSBI Press Service

WSBI Press Service