On October 27-29, 2004 the General Assembly of the World Savings Banks Institute (WSBI) held its session in Brussels concurrently with the "Access to Finance " conference, co-arranged by the World Bank. Sberbank's delegation to both events was headed by its Chairman of the Board and CEO Andrei I. Kazmin, Vice-President of WSBI since 2000, who also chaired the plenary session of the conference.
The General Assembly of WSBI, which is its supreme body, unanimously endorsed the Resolution on Access to Finance. The document highlights the important role the savings banks play in the economic development of their countries by mobilising private savings for financing of companies and enterprises of various size and type. Thus sustainable overall economic growth is provided, employment is generated and higher standard of living is assured. The resolution also calls for special attention to the accessibility of financial services to be available for all strata of population, including in remote areas, as an important factor of social and economic development. In this respect, the savings banks with their ramified branch networks and enormous private customer reach, bear great social responsibility to the state and the public and form an integral part of the national financial systems.
The WSBI General Assembly decided on active participation of the organisation in the activities contemplated by the UN Year of Microcredit 2005.
The General Assembly also summed up the work of WSBI in the past year, approved the budget and drafted action programs for the forthcoming year. Special attention was given to strengthening the position and raising the authority of the savings and similar retail banks in the financial community.
Currently WSBI is one of the largest international banking associations uniting over a hundred savings banks from 89 countries. The total assets of member banks amount to EUR7,600bn; non-bank deposits make EUR4,750bn and loans to corporate non-bank clients and private customers exceed EUR4,000bn. WSBI member banks operate over 200,000 branches and employ close to 2.3 million people. The Year 2004 is an anniversary year for the organisation, which was founded in Milan in 1924. The key objective of WSBI is to promote interests of the savings banks world-wide. Sberbank is WSBI member since 1992.
Sberbank's Press Service