MOSCOW -- The Association of Russian Banks said it is concerned that presidential decree easing limits on foreign banks will stifle the growth of Russia's banking system.

President Boris Yeltsin issued the decree last week, easing limits he imposed in November 1993 that banned most foreign banks from dealing with Russian clients until 1996.

The latest decree would allow access to the Russian market to only three or four institutions from European countries with which Russian banks enjoy reciprocal access.

Even just a few new institutions in the Russian market would hurt the Russian banking industry, which is in its infancy, said Sergei Yegorov, president of the Russian bank association.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.