Development Bank of the Republic of Belarus (the DBRB) – a specialized financial institution established in accordance with Edict of the President of the Republic of Belarus dated June 21, 2011 № 261 (hereinafter - Decree No. 261). The Bank is founded by the Council of Ministers and the National Bank of the Republic Belarus. The Bank is formed as a legal entity and is not a classical credit financial institution in the definition established by the Banking Code of the Republic of Belarus. Accordingly, the Bank cannot be referred to second-tier banks in the traditional interpretation of the term.
Creation of the DBRB was carried out in close cooperation with the leading international financial institutions, in particular, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank and based on the analysis of international practice of the similar institutions functioning.
The main objective of the DBRB is elaboration of financing system for government programs and the implementation of socially significant investment projects.
Three main goals set to the DBRB are:
- financing of long-term and capital-intensive investment projects in the framework of government programs and activities implementation;
- acquisition of assets generated by other banks in the framework of government programs and activities implementation;
- extension of concessional export credits to support large (over USD 1 million) projects of domestic exporters.
Activities of the DBRB are comprehensively regulated by the special legal act having the force of law – Decree No. 261. This document states that in the part not regulated by the Decree itself the Law on banking activities may be applied to the Development Bank.
To achieve the objective and goals of their activities the DBRB is authorized to perform certain active and passive operations, which are typical for commercial banks (lending, budget fundraising to deposits, placing of funds on the market, opening of accounts, clearing transactions, foreign exchange transactions) but without obtaining the National Bank’s license thereto.
The DBRB is granted the exclusive right to act as the Government’s agent bank to serve and repay external government loans.
In 2013 the DBRB received a strong support at entering the financial markets in the form of the Government’s subsidiary liability on the bonds issued by the Bank. In this case within the scope of the bond issue fixed by the Government, the Bank may issue these bonds without fulfillment of certain legal requirements on collateral of these securities. A concrete procedure for the implementation of vicarious liability of the Government of the Republic of Belarus against the Development Bank’s liabilities is defined by the Decree of the President of the Republic of Belarus of December 19, 2014 No. 600.
Given the existence of a vicarious liability of the Government of the Republic of Belarus, the National Bank has adopted specific solutions which refer the bonds of the Development Bank to the most secure financial instruments (similar the Government’s securities) having the following characteristics:
- at the acquisition, the special reserves to cover eventual losses on assets and operations that are not reflected on the balance at the acquisition of the bonds of the Development Bank may not be formed (Resolution of the Board of the National Bank dated March 28, 2013 No. 182);
- the bonds of the Development Bank are included in the collateral list of securities accepted by the National Bank as a security for collateral loans and other credits (Resolution of the Board of the National Bank dated February 4, 2014 No. 61). The obligations security coefficient under the Development Bank’s bonds comes to 0.95 that corresponds to the coefficient set for government bonds and bonds of the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus;
- the bonds of the Development Bank are categorized as highly liquid assets (with a 0 percent risk in Belarusian rubles and 20 percent in a foreign currency) (Resolution of the Board of the National Bank of April 7, 2015 No. 217).
The Development Bank is not provided with the government guarantees, and accounting is run according to the rules established by normative acts of the National Bank for the second-tier banks.
Since 2015, in accordance with the Decree of the President of the Republic of Belarus of December 9, 2014 No. 572 the Development Bank manages the funds of a family capital.
The Development Bank is the only organization in the Republic of Belarus (not related to the state authorities), which has the right to rule-making initiatives (Decree of the President of the Republic of Belarus of December 19, 2014 No. 600).
According to the Tax Code of the Republic of Belarus (Article 138) incomes on bonds of the Development Bank are exempt from the income tax.
Implementation of development institution to centralize operations for the public programs financing including unloading state-owned banks from their projects funded under government programs enables to strengthen the efficiency of the programs undertaken by the State and to improve the monetary market in the country, to increase competition among commercial banks and to create conditions for lower rates on the monetary market.