The Russian division of U.S. investment giant Merrill Lynch plans to obtain a banking license in Russia, the head of the bank’s Moscow office Konstantin Korishchenko said on Thursday.
Currently, OOO Merrill Lynch Securities is licensed by Russia’s Federal Financial Market Service to carry out dealer and brokerage operations.
Merrill Lynch’s operations on the Russian market have reached a level where customers need comprehensive investment and banking services, Korishchenko said.
“We are going to develop the banking business in Russia and for this purpose we have the necessary premises,” Korishchenko said at the ceremony of opening the bank’s new office in downtown Moscow.
Before obtaining a banking license in Russia, Merrill Lynch needs permission from the U.S. Federal Reserve.
Ryan Challinor, the bank’s Russia operations director, told Prime news agency that Merrill Lynch had big plans for boosting its staff in 2012, but declined to specify.
Currently, Merrill Lynch’s Moscow office employs about 100 people and provides investment and banking services that do not require a license, and also services for operations with securities on international markets.