Mr Gref said that the bank’s flexible lending policy has enabled it to build up a share of more than half of the mortgage services market.
Another principal subject discussed at the meeting was the plan to establish a national payment system for electronic card transactions. Mr Gref said that a number of legal amendments will be needed for this work to go ahead. A draft law has already been submitted to the State Duma and Sberbank is already working with other banks on establishing a local hosting system that will link the different banks’ payment systems.
Mr Gref said that once amendments to the law are passed, it will take two to six months to organise the Russian-based processing centres that will provide a full range of payment, clearing and processing services for all card transactions. A processing centre has already been established, a Russian-made chip, manufactured by Russian company Sitronics, has been developed and certified, the needed identification protocols have been developed, and standards that are compatible with international payment systems are ready.
Mr Gref said that as soon as the needed laws are passed, Sberbank will give up its control over this company, Universal Electronic Card, and invite all interested banks to join in the company’s charter capital. The company will function as an organisation servicing all types of bank transactions and will not be under the control of any one bank.