RUSSIAN BANKS FOR OMBUDSMAN?

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NIZHNI NOVGOROD, September 7 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian Banking Association intends to appoint an ombudsman, Gareghin Tosunyan, RBA president, said to a news conference that was summing up a 5th national banking forum.

The association drafted papers to establish the post of bank ombudsman a year ago. A banking crisis of last May through July forced it to pace up the job.

Clients will be able to directly contact an ombudsman on a simple and streamlined banking dispute settlement pattern. The disputes will be examined outside courtroom with no legal consequences. Bankers must pledge to follow the ombudsman's resolutions, says Mr. Tosunyan.

The arrangement has an ethical and a practical purport alike-there will be more clients once bankers prove they are eager to protect depositors' interests.

Nevertheless, bankers do not hurry to shoulder the responsibility, so the matter is making progress at a snail's pace.

The RBA sat in session on the ombudsman issue, last July, and mailed details to all banks.

"We don't mean to coerce anyone into the arrangement-but the bankers who want more clients will join in, sooner or later," expects Gareghin Tosunyan.

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