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3 Apr, 2008 01:14

Crooked bankers named and shamed

The Russian Central Bank has created a blacklist of people convicted of crimes in the banking sector.

It’s part of a campaign to reduce corruption and slash the huge number of small banks in Russia, several of which are little more than personal money-boxes for wealthy individuals.

The list is made up of people convicted of using banks to launder money between 2005 and 2007.

It is the first time the Central Bank has published this kind of data.

The regulator does not have the authority to ban anyone from working in the industry, unlike the central banks of several other countries.

It is hoped the online list will discourage banks from employing people who have broken the law.

Despite this, the Central Bank has been coy about the blacklist, attaching it to an older article on its website.

The list was online for more than a month before Kommersant Daily newspaper splashed the story on Wednesday.

Director general of Rusrating Agency, Richard Hainsworth, says the publication of the blacklist was carefully orchestrated.

“I find it very unlikely that a major newspaper would have found this information without being guided in some way by somebody who thinks that a major newspaper should know about this information.

Both the Central Bank and banking sources have achieved their aim by having the publicity. But the publicity cannot be laid at the threshold of the Central Bank,” Hainsworth said.

The publication of the blacklist follows a high-profile campaign against corruption led by Central Bank Deputy Chairman Andrey Kozlov, who was assassinated in 2006.