Now, for every service, we will compare how it should work according to the law and how it really works. All further information will be presented in facts taken from the activity of the ''Incombank'' branch in Chelyabinsk for the 1997 year.
In order to illustrate the problem of deposit operations I have to dwell upon some facts of the history of our economic system. First of all, in 1992, after the fixed prices were ''freed'' in Russia, a crisis occurred with money circulation. It also led to hyperinflation. So the money with which you could buy a car in 1985, changed in 1993 to worthless paper with which you could hardly buy a book. The situation became even worse when the banks decided to give out the limited amount of money to any client (not more than 500 roubles in one month) even if this client had a larger sum of money on his account. Therefore, with hyperinflation, 5000 roubles on any account in 1985 (5319$), in 1993 became 12$ with interest rates.8 So everyone who had a long-term deposit lost all his money. Also, it was popular among Russians to open saving deposits, for 1000 roubles (1063$), for their new-born children which were paid to the bank for several years and could be taken out only when the children who were insured reached the age of 18.9 Everyone who was too young to take his money lost it. Even now, while I am writing this work, the central bank and the government are putting into action another historical swindle, erasing three zeroes on banknotes.10 Even after the central bank had promised their clients to recalculate the savings made before the '90s according to the level of inflation all money will loose three zeros.11 So that which was 1000 roubles (1063$) in 1985, will now become 1 rouble (16 cents).12 The central bank has fooled everyone in the country. Who will trust the banks after this point? No one. This lack of trust has led to a shortage in the money supply to banks. This situation in the country creates a distrust of clients to banks, on one hand, and of banks to government policy on the other hand. The result is that the deposit operations have become less in value and shorter in terms.
In the situation of shortage, banks have had to decide how to raise their money supply. They have decided to do it in a real new Russian style: if people do not want to give them their money, the banks will force them to do it. For instance, in our town ''Incomebank'' signed an agreement with almost all factories and big companies about paying salaries to their workers through the bank credit cards.13 The same agreement was signed with all institutes and colleges. Now, students can withdraw their grants only by their ''Visa'' and ''STB'' cards. Before this, the owners of credit cards had been very rich people. Perhaps the bankers figured that new owners had to feel happy about receiving one of the privileges of the rich, but the people did not. They now must pay 20$ every year for a credit card and 5% on every amount which they take in cash.14 In such a way banks have forced common workers to keep their money with banks.
Payment operations in Russia are not developed yet. There are almost no payment services for the private sector. First of all, this is because just a few shops in our city accept credit cards. The second reason for this is because a private person is not allowed to make any transfer payments.15 Movements of money from a buyer to a seller take place only by cash, and if someone wants to buy a house or a car he must pay the whole amount in cash. This is why Russian people abroad almost always pay with cash. It is because they cannot transfer their money abroad and even pay for their holidays by transfer payments. It is still so, even after the central bank representative appeared on a TV news broadcast and gave an interview to important newspapers insisting from now on people would be allowed to make transfer payments abroad - but not more than 2000$ per operation. He said that in May of 1997 and still nothing has happened. Still, nobody can transfer even 500$ abroad. Dangles, everyone knows that the law already exists but banks can't transfer money because they do not have the permission to do so.16 It makes life for more difficult many people, because they can take only 500$ abroad or not more than 10000$ with a bank document.17 Such a document shows that a person has exchanged that amount from roubles to dollars. If a man goes to Europe for a short holiday it will be enough, but if he is going to live there for a long time or he is going to study there he has a problem. He is allowed to have an account abroad for a time while he is there, but nobody can transfer any money to pay his expenses.
Payment services for companies are also not very convenient for their users. Payment operations and all money transfers inside Russia are going through a special branch of the central bank in the city and everywhere where money stops it spends some time and is used. If you give an order to the bank to transfer the money in one day, you will be lucky if they do it two days after that, then when this special branch of the central bank gets the money it takes it 3-5 days to record the operation and just after that it will send the money to the next bank, and even the bank to which you have transferred the money will keep it for 2-3 days before they will tell you that they have already received it.18 This is only if that payment operation is inside your city. If you are transferring the money to another city then the special central bank branch of your city transfers the money to the same branch in the town you are transferring the money to and there the money is recorded again and after 3-5 days the bank receives it.19 The shortest time in which you can transfer money from one bank to another inside one city is 7 days, and between two cities about 10 days. According to the law it has to take only 3 days in local operations and 6 days in interurban operations - the time while the special branch of the central bank keeps the money.20 It is also not a very short period of time but better than 15 days - the period it takes to transfer money in reality. This has led to an increasing number of illegal cash payments between companies.
Payment operations for companies outside Russia are more complicated than anything else in the bank system. You must sign a contract with a foreign company about buying goods there. Then you have to show the contract on that bargain to the Customs with all prices and the list of goods purchased. After they have checked everything they issue a passport and register the number of the transaction. Only after that you are allowed to send an exact amount of money for which you have the passport. After this, you are allowed to give an order to the bank about transferring the exact amount from your rouble account number to your currency account number. In other words you are buying currency. It takes the bank up to 5 days: it depends on availability of that currency. After the money is exchanged you are allowed to give the payment order to the bank to transfer the money. Than the money goes to the special central bank branch and only after that goes to the foreign bank.21 But the procedure isn't finished yet. After getting the goods the duty-agencies are checking everything and just after all taxes and custom duties are paid the passport of the bargain can be closed.22 The whole operation takes about 8-10 days, including all customs checks. According to the law it has to take you only 3 days when the special central bank branch keeps the money, plus the time needed for custom-agencies to check and register the documents.23 Thus, it seems that payment operations are set up with the aim of delaying money transfers and of keeping money inside the country. It looks as if all clients just interfere with the activity of the banks and they even behave as if it would be better for everyone if clients just gave their money to the banks for their needs and would not interrupt their work again with their requests.