Sberbank of Russia

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Coordinates: 55°41′55.69″N 37°34′45.54″E / 55.6988028°N 37.5793167°E / 55.6988028; 37.5793167

Sberbank
Native name
Сбербанк
Public (PAO)
Traded as MCXSBER
Industry Banking, Financial Services
Founded 1991; 27 years ago (1991)
Headquarters Moscow, Russia
Key people
Sergey Ignatiev (Chairman of the Supervisory Board)
Herman Gref (CEO, Chairman of the Executive Board)
Products consumer banking, corporate banking, finance and insurance, investment banking, mortgage loans, private banking, private equity, savings, Securities, asset management, wealth management, Credit cards
Revenue Increase US$51.0 billion (2017)
Increase US$ 13.0 billion (2017)
Total assets Increase US$ 390.0. billion (2018) [1]
Owner Central Bank of Russia (51%)
The Vanguard Group (1.63%)[2]
Number of employees
Increase325,075 (2016) [3]
Subsidiaries Sberbank CIB
Denizbank
Subsidiaries in various European and post-Soviet countries
Rating Ba2 (Moody's), BBB- (Fitch) (2017)[4]
Website sberbank.com

Sberbank (Sberbank, Russian: Сбербанк, initially a contraction of "сберегательный банк" – sbyeryegatyelniy bank; English: "savings bank") is a state-owned Russian banking and financial services company headquartered in Moscow. The company was known as "Sberbank of Russia" until 2015. Sberbank has operations in several European and post-Soviet countries. As of 2014 it was the largest bank in Russia and Eastern Europe, and the third largest in Europe, ranked 33rd in the world and first in central and Eastern Europe in The Banker's Top 1000 World Banks ranking.[5]

History[edit]

Russian President Putin visits a Moscow branch of Sberbank, November 2001
Russian 25 rubles coin
Russian coin commemorating the establishment of the first savings banks in the Russian Empire in 1841.

Early history[edit]

Sberbank's history goes back to Cancrin's financial reform of 1841,[6] when a network of the first state-owned savings banks was created in Russia. By the end of the 19th century, the network reached almost 4 thousand outlets with over 2 million depositors.[7]

Since 1905, savings bank outlets became authorised to sell insurance. After 1910, savings banks started subsidising credit cooperation institutions and extending loans to small lenders. In 1915, savings bank outlets started accepting government securities for depositing.[8]

Soviet savings banks system[edit]

After the October Revolution of 1917, the state savings banks system continued its activity and growth under the management of the Finance Ministry of the USSR as the State Labour Savings Banks System. From 1926, the saving bank outlets were used to pay wages to blue- and white-collar workers. The savings banks were used to distribute state lottery tickets and for the placement of state bonds with the population. The savings banks introduced wider services such as money transfers.[9]

By late 1980s, the Soviet savings bank system had almost 80 thousand branches. As part of Perestroika reforms, in 1987 the savings bank outlets are reorganised into the Savings Bank of the USSR. Within the Savings bank of the USSR,[10] separate savings banks were created in the Soviet Republics. Following the dissolution of the USSR, the former republican savings banks became state savings banks of the newly independent post-Soviet states.

In 1991, the Savings bank of the RSFSR has been reorganised into the Joint-Stock Commercial Savings Bank of the Russian Federation (Sberbank of Russia).

Sberbank of Russia[edit]

In post-Soviet Russia, Sberbank is the largest universal bank despite growing competition from private and other state-owned commercial banks. The bank has gradually expanded its international presence.[11]

Since 2007, Sberbank is led by former economy minister Herman Gref.[12]

Volksbank International acquisition, 2011[edit]

In 2011, Sberbank acquired Volksbank International AG from its shareholders Österreichische Volksbanken AG, BPCE, DZ Bank and WGZ Bank. The deal included all VBI assets - banks in Slovakia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, Ukraine, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, except for Volksbank Romania. The agreed price was €585 to €645 million, depending on VBI business performance in 2011. VBI’s total assets excluding Romania was €9.4 billion in June 2011.[13] On December 16, 2013, Volksbank (Ukraine), which was a wholly owned subsidiary of Sberbank, changed its name to «VS Bank» (Ukrainian: ВіЕс Банк).[14][15]

Denizbank acquisition, 2012[edit]

In June 2012 Sberbank bought the Turkish DenizBank for Turkish Lira 6,469 billion (about EUR 2,821 billion or US$3.504 billion) from the lender Dexia, which in 2011 was "partly nationalized by the governments of France, Belgium and Luxembourg".[16] The deal included DenizBank subsidiaries in Turkey, Austria and Russia.[17]

US, EU, Switzerland, and Ukraine sanctions: 2014-2017[edit]

After the annexation of the Crimean Peninsula by Russia in 2014, the Obama administration imposed sanctions on September 12, 2014, through the US Department of Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) by adding Sberbank and other entities to the Specially Designated Nationals List (SDN).[18][19][20][21][22][23][24][25][26][27] This was done in concert with the 31 July 2014 addition of Sberbank to the European Union sanctions list.[28][29] Sanctions consist of access restriction to the EU and US capital markets.[30][31][32] After announcement of the sanctions, and by the end of July, Sberbank's market value had dropped the most market value among the world’s major lenders plus investors moved $22 billion from Sberbank’s market capitalization.[33] Still, during the following year Sberbank’s share price grew back 89%.[34] Sberbank together with other Russian banks filed claims with the highest EU court to lift the punitive economic measures.[35]

On August 27, 2014, Switzerland imposed sanctions on Sberbank and other Russian financial institutions.[36]

On December 22, 2015, the United States imposed additional sanctions on Sberbank and its subsidiaries.[37][38][20][21][22][26]

On October 17, 2016, Ukraine imposed sanctions against Sberbank Russia, Sberbank Leasing, and their payment systems Kolibri (Hummingbird), formerly Blitz (Ukrainian: «Колибри» стара назва – «Блиц»).[39][40][41]

On March 15, 2017, the president of Ukraine imposed sanctions on Sberbank (and other Russian state-owned banks operating in Ukraine: VTB Bank, BM Bank, Prominvestbank, and VS Bank (Ukrainian: ВіЕс Банк)) as part of its continued sanctions on Russia for its annexation of Crimea and involvement in the War in Donbass.[42][43][44]

2017 sale of VS Bank to Tihipko[edit]

In December 2017, due to sanctions, Sberbank sold its Ukrainian subsidiary, "VS Bank" (Ukrainian: ВіЕс Банк)[42] to Ukrainian businessman Serhiy Tihipko.[45]

Ownership[edit]

The majority shareholder of Sberbank is the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, owning 50%+1 voting share of Sberbank's voting shares. The rest of the shares is dispersed among portfolio, private and other investors with an estimated shareholding of over 43% held by foreigners.[46]

Russia's central bank cannot sell its stake without a change in Russia's laws.[47][48]

Management[edit]

The President and Chief Executive Officer is Herman Gref, confirmed by the Board of Directors on October 16, 2007.[49]

Sergei Gorkov joined Sberbank in November 2008 eventually becoming the head of the international operations and the Senior Vice Chairman of the Board from October 10, 2010, until February 26, 2016, when he left Sberbank to became the Chairman of Vnesheconombank (VEB).[50][51][52][53][54] He greatly expanded Sberbank from operations in only two foreign countries, Kazakhstan (2006)[55][56] and Ukraine (December 2007),[55][57] to over twenty countries including Belarus (2009),[55][58] Germany (2009),[55][59] China (2010),[55][60] India (September 2010),[55][61] Switzerland (December 31, 2011),[55][62] Austria (acquisition of Volksbank International AG on February 15, 2012; changed name to Sberbank Europe AG on November 1, 2012, with locations in Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia, Serbia, Ukraine, and Germany),[55][63] Bosnia-Herzegovina (February 20, 2013),[64] Hungary (December 31, 2011; November 1, 2013, as Sberbank Hungary Ltd),[55][65] Croatia (February 2012),[55][66] Czech Republic (February 20, 2013),[55][67] Slovenia (January 28, 2013),[55] Serbia (December 24, 2012),[55][68] Slovakia (February 15, 2013),[55][69] and Turkey (acquisition of DenizBank in September 2012).[55][70][71][72] Following Gorkov's departure, Svetlana Alekseyevna Sagaydak (Russian: Светлана Алексеевна Cагайдак) became the new Senior Vice Chairman of the Board.[51]

The Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Sberbank is Sergey Ignatiev, former Chairman of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation.[73]

Formerly from 2003 to 2013 the head of RIA Novosti and from 2006 to 2016 its editor in chief, Svetlana Mironyuk is a vice-president and the head of marketing and communications since February 1, 2016.[74][75]

Operations[edit]

As of 2015 the bank had about 16,500 offices with over 250,000 employees.[76] According to own estimates, the bank had over 137 million retail clients and over 1.1 million corporate clients in its 22 countries of presence.

As of August 2015 it accounted for 28.6% of aggregate banking assets, calling itself "the circulatory system of the Russian economy","key lender to the Russian economy and the biggest receiver of deposits".[76]

Within Russia, Sberbank is structured into several regional divisions (territorial banks):

ATM of Sberbank
ATM of Sberbank.
Sberbank regional head office in St. Petersburg
Sberbank regional head office in St. Petersburg
Sberbank sign in different languages
Sberbank sign in Russian and Altai language in Ust-Koksa, Altai Republic
Sberbank office in Khabarovsk
Sberbank office in Novosibirsk
Sberbank office in Novosibirsk
Sberbank office in Tyumen
Sberbank in Smolensk
Baikal Bank  Zabaykalsky Krai
 Irkutsk Oblast
 Buryatia
 Sakha Republic
Volga-Vyatka Bank  Nizhny Novgorod Oblast
 Vladimir Oblast
 Kirov Oblast
 Mordovia
 Mari El
 Chuvashia
 Tatarstan
East Siberian Bank  Krasnoyarsk Krai
 Tuva
 Khakassia
Far Eastern Bank  Khabarovsk Krai
 Primorsky Krai
 Amur Oblast
 Sakhalin Oblast
 Jewish Autonomous Oblast
 Magadan Oblast
 Kamchatka Krai
 Chukotka Autonomous Okrug
West Siberian Bank  Tyumen Oblast
 Omsk Oblast
 Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug
 Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug
West Urals Bank  Perm Krai
 Komi
 Udmurtia
Moscow Bank  Moscow
Volga Region Bank  Samara Oblast
 Ulyanovsk Oblast
 Orenburg Oblast
 Saratov Oblast
 Volgograd Oblast
 Astrakhan Oblast
 Penza Oblast
Northern Bank  Yaroslavl Oblast
 Kostroma Oblast
 Ivanovo Oblast
 Vologda Oblast
 Arkhangelsk Oblast
 Nenets Autonomous Okrug
North Western Bank  Saint Petersburg
 Leningrad Oblast
 Murmansk Oblast
 Kaliningrad Oblast
 Pskov Oblast
 Novgorod Oblast
 Karelia
North Caucasus Bank  Stavropol Krai
 Ingushetia
 North Ossetia-Alania
 Kabardino-Balkaria
 Dagestan
 Karachay-Cherkessia
 Kalmykia
 Chechnya
Siberian Bank  Novosibirsk Oblast
 Tomsk Oblast
 Kemerovo Oblast
 Altai Krai
 Altai Republic
Central Russian Bank  Moscow Oblast
 Tver Oblast
 Kaluga Oblast
 Bryansk Oblast
 Smolensk Oblast
 Tula Oblast
 Ryazan Oblast
Ural Bank  Sverdlovsk Oblast
 Chelyabinsk Oblast
 Kurgan Oblast
 Bashkortostan
Central Black Earth Bank  Voronezh Oblast
 Oryol Oblast
 Lipetsk Oblast
 Kursk Oblast
 Belgorod Oblast
 Tambov Oblast
South Western Bank  Rostov Oblast
 Krasnodar Krai
 Adygea

International presence[edit]

Sberbank office in Atyrau, Kazakhstan
Sberbank office in Atyrau, Kazakhstan
 Belarus BPS Sberbank
 Kazakhstan Sberbank[77]
 Turkey DenizBank
 Austria Sberbank Europe
 Croatia Sberbank Europe
 Germany Sberbank Europe
 Bosnia and Herzegovina Sberbank Europe
 Serbia Sberbank Europe
 Slovenia Sberbank Europe
  Switzerland Sberbank Switzerland
 Hungary Sberbank Europe
 Czech Republic Sberbank Europe
 Slovakia Sberbank Europe
 China Sberbank International
 India Sberbank International
 Malaysia Sberbank International
 United States Sberbank CIB
 United Kingdom Sberbank CIB
 Cyprus Sberbank CIB

Sponsorship[edit]

Presentation of ice climbing in the Olympic Park of Sochi at the 2014 Winter Olympics, sponsored by Sberbank
Presentation of ice climbing in the Olympic Park of Sochi at the 2014 Winter Olympics, sponsored by Sberbank

Sberbank sponsors sports and charity events in various regions of Russia,[78][79][80][81] as well as educational projects[82][83] including projects developing financial literacy.[84][85]

Controversies[edit]

Not returning of citizens' deposits during privatisation[edit]

Sberbank is the successor of Soviet saving banks, whose assets belonged to the state.[86] During Russia's transition to a market economy in the 1990s, in which these assets were sold, Sberbank provided no guarantee for citizens' deposits.[87] This resulted in a landslide depreciation, which in turn led to severe discontent among the Russian population.[88] Since 1996, partial compensation for investors' losses has been offered[89] - however, it must be noted that this only applied to state-owned banks such as Sberbank until 2003, offering them an unfair advantage.[90]

Low level of service[edit]

In the 2000 Sberbank was repeatedly blamed for poor service.[91][92] Consequently, in subsequent years, Sberbank has introduced new services[93][94] and improved the quality of some of its existing ones. By the mid-2010s, the bank was reportedly among the market leaders with regards to quality of client services, such as services for retail depositors,[95] premium services[96] and several others.

Laundering stolen money, Prevezon Holdings, and Sergey P. Poymanov[edit]

Sergei Leonidovich Magnitsky accused numerous persons and entities of laundering stolen money in tax fraud in Russia.[97] Owned by Denis Katsyv, Prevezon Holdings, represented by Natalia Vladimirovna Veselnitskaya, paid $6 million to resolve the claim without admitting any crime which subsequently led to all charges being dropped by the Justice Department in the summer of 2017.[97] In United States court, Sergey P. Poymanov sued Sberbank, several of its subsidiaries and executives, and a business rival for $750 million, claiming that a valuable gravel quarry he owned was illegally bankrupted and seized by the bank in a corporate raid in 2012. Sberbank says it took the quarry as collateral after Mr. Poymanov failed to repay a loan. Sberbank is retaining Marc Kasowitz for this court case.[97] Poymanov was subsequently arrested by Russian police who then subjected him to harsh pretrial detention at a notoriously rough Moscow jail, Matrosskaya Tishina, which is the same jail where Magnitsky died.[97]

Ukrainian sanctions and vandalism of Sberbank property[edit]

Graffiti "It's a Russian bank" near the department of bank in Oleksandriia, Ukraine

In April 2014, several Ukrainian officials accused Sberbank of funding actions which took place in the East and South of Ukraine, including terrorism. The bank denied any involvement in the financing of illegal activities on Ukrainian territory, which was later confirmed by an examination carried out by the National Bank of Ukraine.[98]

Since Crimean crisis in 2014, Russian banks faced increased harassment by nationalist groups. Since 2017 the three largest Russian state-owned banks signaled their desire to leave the Ukrainian market, including Sberbank. On the 18th February Ukrainian nationalists of the movement by Mykola Kokhanivsky stormed the offices of Sberbank and Alfa Bank in the downtown district of Podil in Kiev. Windows were broken and walls covered with graffiti such as “Death to Russia.” Days before this incident, unidentified persons set fire to Sberbank branches in Lviv and Khmelnytskyi. Besides Russian banks, the attackers also stormed and vandalized the Russian center for culture and science Rossotrudnichestvo in Kiev. Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned the attacks and on the next day. He summoned Ukraineian foreign authorities in Moscowto declare a protest against continuing outrages of Ukrainian nationalist and Russophobes, blaming Ukrainian authorities for inaction.

“It is another instance of aggressive nationalism of neo-Nazi dogma that is gathering momentum in Ukraine and obviously enjoys support of official authorities of the country,” the Russian foreign ministry stated.[99] "It seems to be no coincident that the attack on the Russian Center for Science and Culture was stages immediately after Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko’s odious speech at the Munich Security Conference, which was overfilled with anti-Russian pronouncements and openly called fight against the Russian flag across the globe," "Ukraine’s deliberate choice to be one of only two world nations voting against the United Nations General Assembly resolution against glorification of Nazism, neo-Nazism and other discriminatory practices demonstrate which side the current Kiev regime has chosen." the Russian ministry said.[100]

March 15, 2017, the president of Ukraine imposed sanctions on Sberbank (and other Russian state-owned banks operating in Ukraine: VTB Bank, BM Bank, Prominvestbank, and «VS Bank» (Ukrainian: ВіЕс Банк)) as part of its continued sanctions on Russia for its annexation of Crimea and involvement in the War in Donbass.[42][43][44] Since then, Sberbank´s Ukrainian subsidiary, «VS Bank» (Ukrainian: ВіЕс Банк), has been put on sale.[42] But as of August 2017 it has been unsuccessfully trying to sell the asset after the National Bank of Ukraine blocked the sale of the bank due to a "failure to provide the necessary and sufficient documents to carry out checks on the investors in compliance with Ukrainian law."[42] In 2017 Sberbank was reported to be waiting for approval from the National Bank of Ukraine to sell its Ukrainian subsidies. “Everything is prepared on our side. The question is whether we will be given a permission to sell or not by Ukrainian authorities,” Herman Gref who is the chairman of Sberbank said on the World Economic Forum held in Davos in January 2018. On December 13, 2017, Sberbank sold another subsidiary, «VS Bank» (Ukrainian: ВіЕс Банк), to a Ukrainian banker, former PrivatBank chairman Sergiy Tigipko.[45][99]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]

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