18 Dec 2009 10:49

VEB supervisory board approves creation of postal bank from Sviaz Bank

MOSCOW. Dec 18 (Interfax) - The supervisory board of Vnesheconombank (VEB) approved on Thursday the strategic development of Sviaz Bank as a postal bank in which Russian Post will participate, VEB said in a statement.

The board also approved formation of a working committee including representatives of the relevant ministries, the Central Bank of Russia, Russian Post and VEB. It is to draw up a set of measures covering creation of the postal bank.

The idea of integrating Sviaz Bank into Russian Post has been discussed even before VEB bought the bank.

VEB purchased Sviaz Bank for a nominal sum after the bank was unable to meet its commitments to clients during the liquidity crunch.

Later, VEB chief Vladimir Dmitriev said one scenario for developing the bank involved transforming it into a postal bank analogous to Germany's Deutsche Postbank.

"Russian Post is currently developing the concept. We have familiarized ourselves with it. We think it makes a lot of sense," Dmitriev said in December 2008.

VEB currently owns 99.4666% of Sviaz Bank shares.

Sviaz Bank was the 34th biggest Russian bank by assets according to the Interfax-100 list as of the end of the third quarter of 2009.