Uzbekistan has established a traditional two-tier banking system, headed by the Central Bank of the Republic Uzbekistan (CBU). Primary functions and tasks of the Central bank are set in the Law on the Central Bank adopted on December 1995. Nowadays CBU is fulfilling the functions of a typical central monetary authority. The main aim of the Central Bank is to maintain stability of the national currency. The Central Bank's major tasks are the following:
working out/implementation of the monetary, credit and foreign exchange policy of the country;
introduction of effective payment system in Uzbekistan;
licensing and regulation of banking and finance activities;
management of the cash service of the public budget jointly with the Ministry of Finance;
management of state reserves of the Republic of Uzbekistan (currency, precious metals, etc.)
The commercial banks system, which is a kind of a component of the Uzbek banking system, for today consists of: about 32 licensed banks. The total number is relatively small, a) in relation to the size of the economy and the population of Uzbekistan, and b) compared with the banking systems in the main neighboring state such as Kazakhstan and the Russian Federation. But this situation is intentional. The political leadership of Uzbekistan has defined a strategic development strategy for the financial and banking sector. Therefore the licensing policy of the Central Bank at present has three main aims:
To create a core group of strong, well capitalized banks, either on the basis of the large specialized state banks of the former USSR or from scratch
To avoid mushrooming growth of small, weak banks existing for their own sake or that of a single major shareholder (pocket-banks)
To attract foreign financial institutions of high quality and reputation to participate in local institutions (joint-venture banks)
Among the commercial banks of Uzbekistan the National Bank for Foreign Economic Activity (NBU) is in a class of its own in Central Asia and is the leading financial institution in Uzbekistan. The first bank in Uzbekistan to adopt IAS, with a well developed network of 96 offices NBU boasts a nationwide presence catering to both corporate and retail clients and is ranked 562nd in The Banker's Top 1000 world's largest banks.
The bank has over 628 correspondent banks.
The bank has a sound reputation internationally. With tier-one capital of over US$ 485 million, NBU ranks among the strongest capitalized new financial institutions on the former USSR territory.
NBU offers all types of banking and finance services to domestic and foreign customers. In order to attract inter-national capital to the republic, NBU actively cooperates with its foreign partners - investment banks.
The other commercial banks of Uzbekistan can be divided into three categories:
joint stock banks with variable state participation (from full, long-term perspective control through to temporary majority and minority stakes).
Fully privately owned joint-stock banks.
Joint-venture banks between local and foreign financial institutions.
Nowadays there are more than 30 banks and financial institutions in Uzbekistan, 18 of them have received a license for hard currency operations, and 11 also have a General License for all categories of international transactions and domestic operations.
Banks in Uzbekistan
National Bank for Foreign Economic Activity of the Republic of Uzbekistan