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Report on operation of credit and financial organizations

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MIL OSI – Source: President of the Republic of Belarus – Press Release/Statement

Headline: Report on operation of credit and financial organizations

16 November 2017

The activities of banks should be in sync the interests of the national
economy, Belarus
President Alexander Lukashenko said as he heard out a report on the operation
of credit and financial organizations on 16 November.
The efficiency of management in credit and financial organizations was
on the agenda of the meeting. Previously the head of state gave corresponding
instructions to government officials.
“You are aware of my requirements. All organizations, including banks or
even especially banks, should work with maximum efficiency. Their activities
should be in sync with the interests of the national economy,” Alexander
Lukashenko said.
The President asked about the measures of the government in this field. He
wanted to know if the approaches comply with Belarus’ social and economic
development goals, if the current system is in sync modern standards and the
best global practices.
“However, I should say that global practices are global practices. We
often say that Belarus
is a developing state and has not reached that level of development, including
in the operation of credit and financial organizations. If we have not reached
that level why do we pay salaries in accordance with global practices? Because
if we want to meet the standards, let’s do it in all aspects, including in the
material support of organizations and workers,” Alexander Lukashenko said.

“I will not conceal that, perhaps, at the behest of the government, we
often do not pay enough attention to the main issues which we will also discuss
today. These include allowances, salaries and monetary bonuses for employees
and heads of banking institutions. I has been cautioned against a sincere
conversation on this topic. They say that the IMF or other international
organizations may not like it. Right now I am the President of Belarus and I do
not plan to be the President of leader of international organizations. Therefore,
I advise you to focus on the affairs in Belarus,” Alexander Lukashenko
The head of state remarked that people’s wellbeing is very important for
the government. “But we are aware of the situation in Belarus. People
do not live in idleness and plenty. The government, including the National Bank
and subordinate banks, are doing their utmost to raise salaries to the desired
level of Br1,000 or $500 in the equivalent. Let’s also have this level in the
banking sector. It means that salaries must be earned. All bankers are saying
this. And I support them. Salaries should not be paid for nothing in the
country. Banking sector employees should also work hard to earn their
salaries,” the President believes.
Alexander Lukashenko mentioned the fact that bankers distinguish their
salaries from bonuses. “This is money too. You can build a system when people
get very small monthly wages and then line their pockets with bonuses. So let’s
see how the system will work in general. I have just said about the level of
salaries in the country. I will stress once again that I do not want the
banking sector to be a team of fat cats, as people say. Salaries of bankers
should be commensurate with the level of salaries in the country,” the head of
state said.

In his words, after the optimization of government bodies a clear-cut
mechanism concerning salaries was developed there. “Everything is clear with
salaries at all levels, from the prime minister to heads of local councils. They
use the money that has been saved and distribute them among workers. The
banking sector, including the heads of our banks, should also adopt this
system. As far as you can see, I do not divide private and state-owned banks. Calculate
the salaries of workers depending on the salary of the chairman of the National
Bank,” the Belarusian leader instructed.
The President emphasized that salaries should depend on the labor
efficiency and productivity. “I do not think that a head of a private or
state-owned bank works more or better than the chairman of the National Bank. If
it is so, the President should think about it. I do not think that it is so.
Therefore, it is normal to compare bankers’ salaries and bonuses with the
salary of the chairman of the National Bank,” Alexander Lukashenko said.
The head of state added that banks to do not have their own money. They
use the money of private individuals and legal entities. “I have once said that
if a bank takes a $1 billion loan under the interest rate of 1% in the west and
then issues loans under a 2.5% interest rate in Belarus, we must reward this bank
and its leader,” the President said.
Alexander Lukashenko reiterated that banks should not stand out from the
general system in the country. “Let’s be guided by this principle,” he added.
The President wanted to listen to a detailed report on the situation in
credit and financial institutions. In particular, he wanted to know about
certain issues which can be of concern for the government and senior officials
of the National Bank. “It seems that the situation is stable. But are there
challenges and risks? We should see
them,” the head of state said.

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