What heritage did the previouse bankers leave for us? (OPINION)

Olexandr Okhrimenko, the President of Ukrainian Analytical Centre  11 July 2014 18:20  6574093 074967
What heritage did the previouse bankers leave for us? (OPINION)

Three weeks ago, the National Bank received a new head. Valeria Gontareva replaced Stepan Kubiv, who had lasted just over three months. It is still too early to talk about any specific results of the first female head of the NBU. Expert opinions about her activities differ. Some consider Gontareva extremely professional financier because she has more than 20 years of experience in the financial and banking sectors. Others accuse her of collaboration with Serhiy Kurchenko and remind that while being an investment banker she was engaged in drafting agreements to attract financing for «Roshen» business development in Russia.

Eventually, we will "know her by her fruits." For now, let's analyze what heritage her predecessors left us.

To their credit, Arbuzov and Sorkin achieved real reduction of dollarization of the economy.

 During their work, the actual amount of hryvnia deposits exceeded that of currency deposits. While in 2009, foreign currency deposits accounted for 60%, and hryvnia ones - only 40%, in late 2013, about 60% of deposits were in local currency. In addition, deposits of individuals, due to Arbuzov and Sorkin, increased to record levels, which had not been previously achieved in Ukraine. In fact, Ukrainian banks, for the first time in the history of independent state, began to form their assets based on deposits of physical persons, as is customary in the EU. And, most importantly, in 2013, there was a trend to sale of currency and transition to hryvnia. They could not, unfortunately, improve the trend to lower rates on deposits. For, although the volume of deposits increased, but deposit rates in Ukraine in 2012-2013, were higher than those in Russia or Poland, and almost the same as those in Turkey.

Stepan Kubiv was more a politician than a manager, so his actions in many ways were PR actions. It was his big mistake when he, for political motives, introduced temporary administration in the "Brokbiznesbank" and the "Forum" bank. But his biggest mistake was the collapse of hryvnia in the guise of a flexible exchange rate. In fact, in three months, Kubiv destroyed all that Arbuzov and Sorkin achieved for almost 3 years - and now it will take at least five years to restore the banking system to the level of the Arbuzov and Sorkin times. 

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