Department of Financial Institutions
Russian Delegation Visits DFI
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Oct. 3, 2008) – The Kentucky Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) today was honored to discuss the state and national banking system with a delegation of officials from the Novosibirsk region of Siberia, Russia.
The 10 Russian delegates were accompanied by two translators on their travels through Kentucky and Southern Indiana. During their 22-day stay, the Russians are meeting with a wide variety of government and nongovernment organizations to discuss public oversight and citizen involvement in governance.
“Our agency was honored to be asked to host this group, and I believe both sides benefited from the exchange,” said DFI Commissioner Charles Vice.
Vice explained that banks have a choice between a federal and a state charter, and the main difference is who regulates the bank. Those under federal charter are regulated by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, while state-chartered banks are regulated by the states – in Kentucky, by DFI. Vice emphasized the importance of Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation insurance. The agenda also included discussions on examining banks to ensure they meet state standards and serve citizens; promoting effective regulation while promoting consumer confidence; and implementing transparent monitoring standards.
The delegation asked detailed questions, such as how much capital is required to start banking operations, what happens if banks have bad debts, what information is public versus not disclosed, and how rates on accounts and loans compare to rates in Russia.
Through a translator, one of the delegates expressed that 158 state-chartered banks sounded like an “incredible number” for a state the size of Kentucky. While the products offered at state banks are similar to those at national banks, Vice said that it really comes down to customer service and how the state banks know the community.
The Russian delegation is participating in the Community Connections Program, administered by the United States Agency for International Development and World Learning. Locally, the delegation is hosted by the World Affairs Council of Kentucky/Southern Indiana.
DFI is an agency in the Public Protection Cabinet. It supervises the financial services industry by examining, chartering, licensing and registering various financial institutions, securities firms and professionals operating in Kentucky. DFI’s mission is to serve the public through effective and efficient regulation that promotes consumer confidence and economic growth.
Ten Russian delegates visited the Department of Financial Institutions to discuss government regulation of banks in Kentucky and the United States.