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A successful market economy is based on a competitive and diversified financial sector. The creation of new banks and the privatisation of existing state-owned banks play a key role in this process.
Through bank loans, micro and small business lending programmes, equity investments and support for other financial services (such as insurance and leasing), the EBRD engages with banks, insurance companies and other providers of financial services to develop the financial sector.
When compared with more advanced countries in the West, the financial sector in transition countries remains substantially underdeveloped. Likewise, the efficiency and risk management of local banks requires further strengthening to address the challenges posed by local and international regulatory frameworks.
As the largest investor in the region, the EBRD utilises its strong presence (with over 30 local offices, including four in Russia) to promote market-based financial institutions. By supporting privatisation, consolidation and restructuring, the EBRD is bringing positive change to the financial sector.
The Bank has developed innovative products and promotes the highest standards of corporate governance, advancing the transition to market economies.
The EBRD’s investments in the financial sector are bringing benefits to local people on both a personal and business level. For example, the expansion of mortgage lending is giving more people the opportunity to buy their own homes while an increase in business loans is allowing local entrepreneurs to expand their operations and reach new customers.
Restoring confidence and financial stability has been the main aim of the financial sector’s response to the global financial crisis. The EBRD has played a key role by providing funds for well structured, financially robust projects, it has intensified policy dialogue with governments and other international financial institutions (IFIs) and given targeted technical assistance.