The 2008-2017 Decade in the Russian Banking Sector: Trends and Factors

Photo: KIRATIYA KUMKAEW / shutterstock

Major changes in the Russian banking sector throughout the 2008-2017 decade, their impact on stability and state of competition between banks are addressed in the report, prepared by the Bank of Russia expert team.

Banking sector assets grew at fairly high rates both in absolute and relative terms. This occurred in parallel with overall improvements in the quality of governance, helping boost operational efficiency in the banking business. The Russian banking sector was working to restore its crisis-hit stability at a time when fair competition between banks was strengthening alongside improvements in the quality of banking services. Based on the analysis of key figures in the balance sheets of banks that had their licence revoked and of those under resolution, the supervisory assessments have become more conservative with a faster supervisory response to banks’ operating drawbacks.

Global benchmarks show that by banking sector concentration Russia is at a lower ‘medium’ level. The report authors note that a certain rise in concentration and a drop in the number of structural bank divisions per capita are generally aligned with global trends and are not associated with compromised banking inclusion for households and the overall economy.

A separate risk factor for the banking sector was represented by a captive model pursued by some credit institutions, which resulted in the loss of stability of many banks. The recorded decline in the share of captive banks in the Russian banking business favours the sector’s stability, competition and future development.

The banking sector is set to face new challenges in the next ten years. Banks and their customers will have to further adjust to sustainably low inflation and positive real interest rates. Low inflation should result in higher competition among banks and more cost-cutting.

Forthcoming challenges for the banking sector over the next decade are related to sustainably low inflation and positive real interest rates, as well as risks with respect to the development of financial technologies.

Views and conclusions of the report reflect the research findings and the authors’ opinion and do not necessarily reflect the official position of the Bank of Russia.

7 June 2018

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