Valeria Gontareva, former Governor of the National Bank of Ukraine will be in conversation with Yuri Bender (Financial Times) and joined by Francis Malige (EBRD) to discuss the banking reforms she managed and the potential risk of a roll-back following political changes in Ukraine.
Valeria Gontareva presided over the clean-up of Ukraine’s financial sector between 2014-2018, following the Euromaidan Revolution. Under Ms Gontareva’s leadership, 87 ailing banks were closed and the country’s biggest lender PrivatBank was nationalised after regulators had found a $5.5bn hole in the bank’s balance sheet. The bank was subsequently recapitalised with Ukrainian taxpayers’ money and restructured with international assurance, particularly from the EBRD. Ms Gontareva negotiated and carried out reforms with the IMF that were vital to unlock a $17.5bn support programme.
Reforms affect vested interest and often come at a high personal cost for those who lead them. From the onset of the reform of the financial sector, Ms Gontareva was subjected to a campaign of harassment, intimidation and even death threats. Meanwhile, following recent elections, the new government intends to implement a new reform programme to drive economic growth. Is Ukraine on the brink of a reformist break-through or a roll-back of reforms? How will the critical achievements of the financial sector be affected? What are the prospects for upholding the rule of law in the country and ensuring protection both reforms and the reformers?
Valeria Gontareva, Senior Policy Fellow, Institute of Global Affairs, London School of Economics; Former Governor of the National Bank of Ukraine (2014-2017).
Yuri Bender, Editor, PWM, Financial Times.
Francis Malige, Managing Director, Financial Institutions, EBRD.
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