Another source of funds could be the Russian Central Bank (RCB), which generates substantial profits and is not accountable to the Treasury. The RCB in 1997-1998 placed billions of dollars in foreign-exchange reserves in foreign subsidiaries like the infamous FIMACO, a Channel Islands “bank” that hid the money from Russia’s creditors and used it to speculate in short-term Treasury bills. According to Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov, the government has approved a plan to close RCB subsidiaries, including the venerable Moscow Narodny Bank in London and Singapore, Eurobank in Paris, and Ost-West Handelsbank in Frankfurt. In addition, says President Putin’s top economic adviser, German Gref, the Central Bank will be told to give up its equity and remove its deposits from foreign-trade bank Vneshtorgbank by 2003 and from state savings bank Sberbank by 2005. These moves are likely to reduce the RCB’s autonomy and link it more closely to the Ministry of Finance, with more cash flowing from the RCB to the Treasury and more instruction flowing from the Kremlin to the RCB. There is no indication yet of how the government intends to restructure Vneshtorgbank and Sberbank, in which the RCB stakes are 99 and 55 percent respectively.