Gosbank (Russian: Госбанк, Государственный банк СССР, Gosudarstvenny bank SSSRthe State Bank of the USSR) was the central bank of the Soviet Union and the only bank whatsoever in the entire Union from the 1930s to 1987. Gosbank was one of the three Soviet economic authorities, the other two being "Gosplan" (the State Planning Committee) and "Gossnab" (the State Committee for Material Technical Supply). The Gosbank closely collaborated with the Ministry of Finance of the USSR to prepare the national state budget.

State Bank of the USSR
Государственный банк СССР
Headquarters12 Neglinnaya str., Moscow, Soviet Union
Established1922 (1922)
Central bank of Soviet Union
CurrencySoviet ruble
SUR (ISO 4217)
Preceded byState Bank of the Russian Empire (1860–1917/1922)
Succeeded byBank of Russia (1991–present)


The foundation of the bank was part of the implementation of the New Economic Policy. On 3 October 1921, the All-Russian Central Executive Committee (VTsIK), passed a resolution for the founding of the State Bank of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. This was followed by a similar resolution passed by Sovnarkom on 10 October 1921. It began operations on 16 November 1921. In February 1922 Lenin described the State Bank as a "a bureaucratic paper game", comparing it to a Potemkin village in a letter to Aron Sheinman who he accused of being a "Communist-mandarin childishness".[1] In 1923 it was transformed into the State Bank of the USSR. It was placed under the jurisdiction of Narkomfin.[2] The Soviet state used Gosbank, primarily, as a tool to impose centralized control upon industry in general, using bank balances and transaction histories to monitor the activity of individual concerns and their compliance with Five-Year Plans and directives. Gosbank did not act as a commercial bank in regard to the profit motive. It acted, theoretically, as an instrument of government policy. Instead of independently and impartially assessing the creditworthiness of the borrower, Gosbank would provide loan funds to favored individuals, groups and industries as directed by the central government.[3]

In 1931 Boris Berlatsky, a senior official of the State Bank was put on trial for wrecking as part of the 1931 Menshevik Trial.[4]


As part of Mikhail Gorbachev's perestroika program, other banks were formed, including; "Promstroybank" (USSR Bank of Industrial Construction), "Zhilstoybank" (USSR Bank of Residential Construction), "Agrobank" (USSR Agricultural Bank), "Vneshekonombank" (USSR Internal Trade Bank), and "Sberbank" (USSR Savings Bank). "Sberbank" continues to this day as one of Russia's largest banks, retaining senior ex-Gosbank personnel and most of the present Russian government's banking business.

Senior executives

This is the list of the Chairmen of the Board of the State Bank.[2]

  • A. L. Sheinman, (1921-1924), Chairman of the Board of the RSFSR State Bank
  • Nikolai G. Tumanov, (1924-1926), Acting Chairman of the Board of the USSR State Bank

Chairman of the Board of the USSR State Bank

The Chairman was appointed by the Premier of the Soviet Union.

Name (governor) Photo Term of office Appointed by
Start of term End of term
1 Aron Sheinman[2] 1921 1924 Vladimir Lenin
2 Nikolai Tumanov March 5, 1924 January 16, 1926 Alexei Rykov
3 Georgy Pyatakov April 19, 1929 October 18, 1930
4 Moissei Kalmanovich October 18, 1930 April 4, 1934 Vyacheslav Molotov
5 Lev Maryasin April 4, 1934 July 14, 1936
6 Solomon Kruglikov July 14, 1936 September 15, 1937
7 Alexey Grichmanov September 15, 1937 July 16, 1938
8 Nikolai Bulganin October 2, 1938 April 17, 1940
9 Nikolai K. Sokolov April 17, 1940 October 12, 1940
10 N. Bulganin October 12, 1940 May 23, 1945 Joseph Stalin
11 Yakov Golev May 23, 1945 March 23, 1948
12 Vasily Popov March 23, 1948 March 31, 1958 Georgy Malenkov and Nikolai Bulganin

13 N. Bulganin March 31, 1958 August 15, 1958 Nikita Khrushchev
14 Alexander Korovushkin August 15, 1958 August 14, 1963
15 Alexey Poskonov 1963 1969 Alexei Kosygin
16 Miefodiy Svieshnikov 1969 1976
17 Vladimir Alkhimov October 11, 1976 January 10, 1986 Nikolai Tikhonov
18 Viktor Dementsev January 10, 1986 August 22, 1987 Nikolai Ryzhkov
19 Nikolai Garetovsky August 22, 1987 June 7, 1989
20 Viktor Gerashchenko June 7, 1989 August 26, 1991 Valentin Pavlov
21 Andrei Zverev August 26, 1991 December 20, 1991 Ivan Silayev

See also


  1. Lenin, Vladimir (1922). Letter to A. L. Sheinman. Progress Publishers. Retrieved 26 May 2015.
  2. "The State Bank of the USSR". Bank of Russia Today. Bank of Russia. Retrieved 26 May 2015.
  3. Russia's Road To Corruption
  4. Jasny, Naum (1972). Soviet Economists of the Twenties. London: Cambridge University Press.
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