Sberbank to Start Operations in Crimea

Sberbank to Start Operations in Crimea


Sberbank will open its offices on the Crimean peninsula already in the first half of 2023, according to its press service. As reported by the representatives of Sberbank, a team of specialists has been formed and new ATMs have been installed.

According to Wikipedia, Sberbank is a Russian financial conglomerate, the largest universal bank in Russia and Eastern Europe. Sberbank has 96.2 million active private clients and 2.6 million active corporate clients in 2019. Sberbank is in the eighth place among the largest credit institutions in the world in terms of assets. It is included by the Central Bank of Russia in the list of systemically important credit institutions.

Sberbank’s representatives said that “gradually over the course of 2023, the offices will be opened in the Crimea, and the first of them will start working in the largest cities in the first half of the year.” An additional range of services will be available by the end of this year.

It should be recalled that before the return of Crimea to Russia a sufficient number of Sberbank offices operated there, but they belonged to the Ukrainian “subsidiaries” of the bank. Therefore, after Crimea's accession to Russia, Sberbank hastily began closing its branches and removing ATMs, which was done out of fear of the harshest sanctions from the U.S. and Europe.

Had Sberbank remained in Crimea at that stage, drastic restrictive measures would have been imposed on the bank, and many foreign investors would have been forced to sell their shares. Notably, they would have had to do so for the sake of compliance with the laws of the U.S. and EU countries. In addition, one of the options for sanctions would be a ban on Sberbank to work with foreign currency and foreign currency accounts.

“It should be reminded that in the 1990s, Sberbank shares were sold to anyone who wanted them in the bank's branches, not for vouchers, but for money,” Alexander Razuvaev, an investment analyst with a PhD in economics, told the media. “In February 2007, following Rosneft, Sberbank conducted a people's IPO. Sberbank ended the year 2022 with a profit over 300 billion rubles ($4.36 bln), but this is far from a record.”

According to the economist, the record was set in 2021 at 1.237 trillion rubles ($18 bln), which is “better than the technical forecasts” that we saw in early and mid 2022.

Even then, analysts said that Sberbank would be able to “reach profit” only in the middle of 2023, and 2022 will end with a loss.

“As we can see, the forecasts did not come true. To my thinking, those who invested in Sberbank, are now satisfied with their choice. You can like or dislike Herman Gref, but he made an interesting technological company out of Sberbank,” Razuvaev said in conclusion.

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