Best banks in Russia

A central bank and commercial banks make up Russia’s banking system. Russian banks and lending institutions are supervised by the Bank of Russia, which also grants bank permits to banks in the country. 239 banks have a universal license, which is available to banks with more than 1 billion rubles in equity, and 111 smaller ones have a basic license, which is available to those with less than 1 billion rubles in equity. In terms of technology, the Russian financial system isn’t up to pace with some of its Western rivals, although it has made considerable gains in recent years.

Based on banking licenses issued by the Bank of Russia, banks and non-bank financial entities provide financial services to consumers. In the Russian Federation, there are two types of banking licenses: a universal license for banks with more than 1 billion rubles in equity, and a basic license for banks with 300 million to 1 billion rubles in equity. A basic license allows for easier control, but it also comes with several limitations. Universal licenses are held by two-thirds of Russian banks (which account for over 95% of total banking assets), whereas basic licenses are held by the remaining institutions.

Best banks in Russia

These are some of the best banks in Russia.

Sberbank

Sberbank (SBER) was established in 1841 in Moscow, and it has always been a joint public-private partnership. 1 SBER is owned 50 percent by the Russian Central Bank plus one share by public investors. Sberbank employs around 293,000 people and has a market capitalization of $443 billion. In 2018, it was placed 31st in the Banker’s Top 1000 World Banks, and first in Europe.

Sberbank was embroiled in a scandal in Ukraine in 2014 regarding financing and deposit choices. Sberbank was accused by Ukraine’s Security Service of sending 45 million Ukraine Hryvnia (about $4 million at the time) to militants fighting for Russian occupation. Its headquarters are in Moscow, Russia.

VTB Bank

Vneshtorgbank, another mainly state-owned bank, was formed in 1990 as Vneshtorgbank. VTB is owned by the Russian government to the tune of roughly 61 percent, with the balance traded on the Moscow stock exchange. VTB is a company based in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

VTB Bank, founded in 1990, is one of Russia’s most important commercial banks, with operations in the OECD and other countries. Corporate-Investment Banking, Mid-Corporate Banking, Retail Business, Treasury, and Other Business are the bank’s five segments. It employs about 77,000 people and is based in Moscow. In Russia, VTB now manages 40 full-service branches, 13 bank subsidiaries, three representative offices, two VTB branches, and two other VTB Capital branches in other countries as well. Its headquarters are in Moscow, Russia.

Gazprombank (GPB)

Gazprombank was established in 1990 by Gazprom (GAZP), a natural gas company, to provide banking services to other gas-industry businesses. While it still focuses primarily on oil and gas, GSB now provides services to other areas of the Russian economy. Gazprombank is the Russian Federation’s third-largest bank, with total assets approximately half those of VTB.

The firm is based in Moscow and employs about 13,500 employees. GPB first opened its doors in 1990. Gazprom, the world’s largest gas producer, and exporter, created the bank. It has approximately 45,000 corporate clients and five million private clients and is based in Moscow. Its headquarters are in Moscow, Russia.

Alfa-Bank

Alfa-Bank was founded in 1990 and is Russia’s largest private bank. It offers corporate and retail clients financial goods and services such as corporate and retail loans, deposits, payment and account services, foreign exchange operations, cash handling services, custody services, investment banking, and other ancillary services. The bank has a total of 825 locations around the country. Its headquarters are in Moscow, where it employs about 1,500 people. Its headquarters are in Moscow, Russia.

UniCredit Bank

Unicredit Bank is a subsidiary of UniCredit S.p.A. with headquarters in Moscow. Corporate and Investment Banking, Retail Banking, Leasing, and Other are the four segments of the bank, which was founded in 1989. It is responsible for 13 branches and 12 representative offices across Russia, as well as a representative office in Belarus.

UniCredit has over 3,700 employees and services approximately 1.94 million retail customers as well as over 28,700 corporate clients.

AO Raiffeisenbank

AO Raiffeisenbank is a Russian bank that was founded in 1996. In Russia, the bank offers business and retail banking, as well as money market and investment services. It employs around 8,700 people and operates five branches and 174 stores across the Russian Federation.

Rosbank

Founded in 1993, Rosbank is majority owned by international financial group Société Générale Société. The bank provides commercial banking, investment banking, and custodial services in Russia. It operates through the following segments: Retail Banking, Corporate Banking, and Treasury and Financial Institutions.

The bank has its headquarters in Moscow, it oversees ten branches, and employs around 18,300 staff in 340 cities and towns across the country.


The cover image is somewhere in Vladivostok, Russia. Photo by Pavel Anoshin on Unsplash