Sberbank Celebrates 180th Birthday With 100 million Customers

Sberbank Celebrates 180th Birthday With 100 million Customers


Sberbank is celebrating its 180th birthday on November 12. It is one of the world's leading financial institutions which constantly develops in modern conditions and challenges becoming a real technological giant.

For example, Sberbank is developing an ecosystem of non-financial products and services designed to help private and corporate clients in a wide range of life situations. There are more than 14,000 offices of this financial giant in Russia. As for the popular mobile application Sberbank Online, it has more than 72 million users per month at the moment. The number of private clients of the bank has already exceeded 100 million while the number of corporate clients amounts to 3 million.

“Sberbank is a backbone organization in the foundation of the state and plays a huge role in its existence,” Pavel Medvedev, Financial Ombudsman of the Association of Russian Banks, Doctor of Economics, Ph.D. in Physics and Mathematics, and a State Duma deputy of the I-V Convocations, told,

“God forbid if it is somehow shaken! Probably, its operation is not smooth but we must give credit where it is due. Sberbank works very well in comparison with other similar financial institutions in terms of a wide range of innovations and user-friendly bonuses. In addition, it rarely uses aggressive sales methods to sell some paid services that people do not need. So, in this respect, the bank looks decent. Such an institution should primarily find a way to please its customers with its activities but not the state.”

As it is known, Emperor Nicholas I approved the regulations on the first sberkassas [a financial institution to store the savings of the population in the Soviet Union and modern Russia] “in respect for the benefits they can bring both economically and morally” back in 1841. Sberbank initially was a small financial institution in St. Petersburg. At first, it worked only one day a week but then expanded and opened offices throughout the country. Nowadays, Sberbank is a very significant provider of cloud services that are available to any user at any time of day or night in any part of the world, as long as the Internet works.

Of course, there was no Internet in the 19th century. Such financial intuitions were opened even in schools and on the Aurora and Varyag cruisers. They gradually became the basis of the financial system of the state, and the small savings of the first depositors were transformed into millions of investments. These savings in the form of investments were allocated for the construction of infrastructure facilities of the Russian Empire, the Trans-Siberian Railway, bridges, and other transport arteries connecting the farthest corners of our country, as well as for the needs of the army and navy.

This principle was also used in the post-revolutionary period. Even then all sorts of actions and events were announced, for example, promotional events of the week or month with the help of which tens of billions of rubles were raised for the “people's constructions” during the first five-year plans. During the Second World War, people gave their savings to help the frontline, again using the services of such financial institutions, and also signed up for war loans.

“One cannot tell how old Moscow or Nizhny Novgorod is,” said Medvedev. “It depends on when one starts counting. The same is with the birthday of Sberbank. In my opinion, the current date is quite symbolic. The former head of the Sberbank Andrei Kazmin erected a monument to the first depositor of this financial institution. Why was it that particular person? It was him because a corresponding agreement was found, and the activity of Sberbank began from this date. By the way, this date is not much different from the date of the signing by Nicholas I of the famous regulations on the approval of the first savings banks.”

There are the following words in the message of Sberbank, dedicated to the current anniversary:

“We are fighting the COVID-19 pandemic together with our clients and the whole country today, developing telemedicine healthcare service, creating new business opportunities, countering fraud, investing in the “green” economy, assisting in digital and AI transformation of the state through the implementation of the latest technologies and implementing many other socially important projects. We remember our history and remain a young and ambitious company despite our venerable age. We have a great purpose in our DNA to make people's lives better by helping them realize their aspirations and dreams.”

“Since I've lived less than 180 years,” Medvedev told, “it's pretty hard for me to appreciate this date, and yet I take it as a statement that this bank has been operating for quite some time. Banks, in general, should make statements of this kind because it is believed that they impress potential and real customers. So, they would think in this way: well, if this bank has existed for 180 years then it will probably last another 180 years and that is why you can entrust your money to it and not be afraid that it will disappear.”

According to him, it is very difficult to make or encourage the huge number of people who work in Sberbank to behave in a proper cultural way. “However, it seems to me that Sberbank has been able to achieve this,” Medvedev said in conclusion.

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