MOSCOW -- Russia's Banks Association, which represents 820 of the country's 2,220 financial institutions, has called for a continuation of limitations placed on foreign banks, saying the market is not ready to compete with Western rivals.

"We need a time-out to create a proper banking system in Russia," said Sergei Yegorov, the president of the association. "Foreign banks are rich and strong. They have 100 to 300 years of history and capital far bigger than ours."

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