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Tuesday
May132014

Medvedev orders annual anti-corruption check-up for biggest banks

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev ordered the heads of Russia's two largest banks — state-owned Sberbank and VTB Group — to report their income, expenses and assets as mandated by an anti-corruption law passed in 2012.

Sberbank's German Gref, a former economic development minister, and VTB's Andrei Kostin were among those officials required to report their holdings, according an order signed by Medvedev last week, The Moscow Times reported on Monday.

Director General of the Federal Housing Development Fund Alexander Braverman was also singled out by the government's order.

Russia's anti-corruption legislation requires Russian businesses to develop and implement measures to prevent corruption and requires all state and municipal employees — as well as their families — to report their incomes annually.

It applies to State Duma and Federation Council members, as well as the heads of state-owned companies

The legislation has been used to look into the personal financial activities of officials and managers at the Central Bank, various social welfare funds, Russian Railways, Gazprom, Rosneft, Transneft, Aeroflot and others, The Moscow Times said.

In June 2011, then-president Medvedev promised to relinquish control of some of the biggest state companies at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, saying it was time to reduce the government's presence.

The Russian Central Bank remains the principal shareholder of the country's largest banks today. Medvedev continues to strive for a maximum 50% state ownership goal for all banks, as he noted in a draft law in April for submission to the World Trade Organization.

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Julie DiMauro is the executive editor of FCPA Blog and can be reached here.