Russia » Economics
Author`s name Michael Simpson

Russian Banks Take Good Positions in Central and Eastern Europe

Although positions of Russian banks are rather good among the banks of Central and Eastern Europe, they all the same do not provide a detailed picture of the banking system in the region
There were 14 Russian banks in the rating of 25 largest banks of Central and Eastern Europe in 2002; the number of Russian banks in the same rating in 2001 was 12. The information was published by Britain's Banker magazine in its annual report Top 1,000 World Banks in 2002.

The rating Top 1,000 World Banks also notes the increased number of Russian banks. The Russian banks mentioned in the rating for the first time are the Bank of Moscow, rated 14th (730th in the world) and the TRAST investment bank. 
 
Sberbank of Russia (the Savings Bank of Russia) is rated first, while it takes the 155th position in the world; the capital of the bank increased by 36.6% up to $2 billion 339 million within 2002. Then goes Vneshtorgbank (the 168th position in the world) with the capital increase of 12.8% up to $2 billion 118 million. The third position in the rating of the 25 largest banks of Central and Eastern Europe is taken by Gazprombank (the 371st position in the world); the capital of the bank increased up to $833 million within 2002.
 
However, Banker analysts say that although positions of Russian banks are rather good among the banks of Central and Eastern Europe, they all the same do not provide a detailed picture of the banking system in the region. Indeed, in majority of countries (with the exception of Russia and Ukraine) banks are owned by foreign bank groups; these owners take account of the activity results of the banks they hold. That is why Russian banks don't face any large-scale competition with large foreign groups in this region.
 
According to the magazine, only 20% of Russians have bank accounts, 7% are holders of credit cards, 9% of Russians make bank loans; only 5% of Russians got bank loans within the past 10 years.  

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