The banking system of the Russian Federation is a set of interrelated elements comprised of the Central Bank, lending agencies (the latter includes commercial banks and other credit establishments and settlement institutions that could be consolidated as holding companies), as well as banking infrastructure and banking legislation. The Federal statute ‘On Banks and Banking Activities’ of December 2, 1990 defines the concept of the banking system as follows: the banking system of the Russian Federation includes the Bank of Russia, lending agencies as well as branches and representative offices of foreign banks.