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Sberbank to encourage small business to make their activities transparent

Russia’s largest savings bank Sberbank will encourage small businesses engaged in informal economy to start operating officially — vice president Andrey Sharov

MOSCOW, May 23. /TASS/. Russia’s largest savings bank Sberbank will encourage small businesses engaged in informal economy to start operating officially, vice president of the bank Andrey Sharov said in an interview with TASS.

According to him, about 80% of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are now have management reporting, not official one, which makes it difficult to issue bank loans.

"The share of transparent small business is 20%, while about 80% of small businesses use "management" reporting. That is why it is easier to issue a 1 bln rubles loan to a big business at comparable cost than to give 1 million rubles to a small business," Sharov said.

"Management" reporting reflects the real situation in small and medium-sized businesses, which often hide the real incomes in the official reporting that they give to the tax and other authorities.

"One of our goals with the Central Bank is to change the lending technology, encouraging our clients to make their businesses transparent. In this case the client will see that going official is really advantageous," Sharov said.

Sharov suggested that the government, the Central Bank and commercial banks should develop a joint action plan how to make the activities of small and medium-sized businesses transparent.

"Banks should ensure a lower rate, give a loan in one day not in five days. The government should provide a reasonable social tax, to assure entrepreneurs that tax service won’t bother them for no reason," vice-president of Sberbank said.

Marketplace for small businesses

Sberbank will seek after creating a marketplace for meetings and interaction of small businesses following Alibaba e-commerce giant’s suit, Sharov added. 

"We also aim to become such a marketplace. We as the bank provide an added value for the small business in satisfaction of its ordinary daily needs," Sharov said.

Banks may act as founders of such platforms and as their participants, he added.

Sberbank and Russian Railways

Sberbank, Russian Railways and Small and Medium Business Development Corporation set up a working group to develop the small business. The objective is to create a network of small suppliers for the Russian railways operator. 

Sberbank views the project with the Russian Railways as a pilot one and plans to replicate the experience of creating small and medium enterprises for other state-owned companies later on, Sharov said. "We want to work out the scheme in the context of the Russian Railways. The nomenclature in the orders structure is huge for small companies," he added.

Small enterprises, for example, may provide medical services for Russian Railways staff, supply foods, equipment and uniform, repair social infrastructural facilities and organize sports events, Sharov said.

Tax service

Sberbank and the Russian Federal Tax Service are developing a service making possible for businessmen to perform remote registration of companies and open bank accounts, Sharov said.

"Sberbank in cooperation with the tax service is making a service enabling remote registration of companies and bank account opening. The draft law is in the State Duma and the Government supports it," Sharov said.

Such service will make possible for the bank to identify the client using the Bank-Client application, Sharov said. Data and documents of the client that will receive the electronic digital signature will then be sent to the tax service, he added.

"We plan to launch this project from July 1. Now we are testing and performing trial runs of the platform," Sharov said.