Top Russian Banks and Russian Parabanks today

If you are not from Russia, the Russian Banks might be unknown to you. Out of a personal project I did some research on the top Russian Banks and Russian Parabanks today. I gladly share the outcome here with you.

Russia is known for its improving economy, better credit rating, and flexible government policies.

Here is a list of top Russian banks that will give you an idea of the banking environment in Russia.


Sberbank is a state-owned bank and it established in 1841, the bank provides financial services to retail and corporate clients in Russia. The bank operates in 22 countries, serving 145.6 million clients and employing 325,000 staff.  It manages 14 regional banks in Russia, 79 regional bank branches, and 15,016 branches. The bank’s profit was 811,1 billion rubles.

VTB Bank

VTB Bank is one of the primary commercial banks in Russia and operates in OECD and other countries.

Currently, VTB oversees 40 full-service branches in Russia, as well as 13 bank subsidiaries, three representative offices, two VTB branches, and two VTB Capital branches in other countries. the bank’s net profit reached  200 billion rubles.

Gazprombank (GPB)

GPB started its operations in 1990. The bank was founded by Gazprom, the world’s largest gas producer, and exporter. It operates out of Moscow and serves over 45,000 corporate clients and five million private clients. The bank reported net profit reached 39.5 billion rubles.

Alfa Bank

Alfa Bank is the largest of the private banks in Russia. It provides financial products and services to corporate and retail customers, which includes corporate and retail lending, deposits, payment and account services, foreign exchange operations, cash handling services, custody services, investment banking, and other ancillary services to corporate and retail customers. The bank manages 733 branches across the country. With about around 1,500 employees, it is headquartered in Moscow.

PromSvyaz Bank

PromSvyaz Bank was established in 1995. The bank operates through Corporate Banking, Small and Medium Size Enterprises, Retail and Private Banking, and Capital Markets segments. Based in Moscow, it currently employs around 3,500 staff. The bank is owned by the state.

There are also many foreign banks operates in Russia. Now have a look at top foreign banks in Russia.

Top foreign banks in Russia

Raiffeisen Bank

Raiffeisen Bank is Austria’s largest bank opened in 1996 in Moscow. It provides services in the commercial and corporate sector, and investment services in Russia. Its net profit reached 32 billion rubles up nearly 16 percent year-on-year.

UniCredit Bank

Unicredit from Italy has been in Russia for more than 20 years and it has around 110 branches. It offers services in Corporate and Investment Banking, Retail Banking, Leasing.

Unicredit Bank Russia made a net profit of RUB 16.7 billion in 2019.


In Russia, Citibank is the key banking partner for more than 3,000 corporate clients and serves about 500,000 retail customers over the country. Citibank offers services to the clients covers all aspects of cash management, liquidity management, trade services, trade finance.


Rosbank Founded in 1993 owned by international financial group Société Générale. 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.

ParaBanks in Russia

In addition to local and foreign banks, Russia also has institutions such as WebMoney that offer banking-like services and they gained popularity in Russia.

WebMoney is an online payment settlement system. The corporate was founded in November 1998 in Russia as a money transfer system for United States dollars.

WebMoney users’ funds are stored in a “purse”, which holds electronic money corresponding to an underlying asset, such as a currency. The assets for WebMoney units are held by a global network of companies that act as guarantors for the payment system. WebMoney Transfer can be used for peer-to-peer payments and includes an escrow system.

In 2019 WebMoney joined Sberbank. Clients can make instant transfers from Sberbank cards to WebMoney purses and vice versa.

The WebMoney Transfer system has introduced a new video identification method-VideoID. Users only need to have their national identity document and access to a smartphone or a desktop with a web camera. Video ID replaces the requirement of visiting the WebMoney Verification Centre or the notary for identification purposes.

WebMoney Transfer has joined the Faster Payments System (FPS) of the Bank of Russia. Owners of WMP wallets can now instantly send funds to 38 banks-participants of the FPS and receive incoming transfers.

Does Russia support foreign investment?

The Russian banking market also combines aspects of both a monopoly and a highly-competitive environment, which has some resistance for new banks’ entry.

In Russia market position mainly occupied by local banks. Sberbank controls 56% of mortgages and 44% of all deposits. Because people more believe in local banks rather than a new bank.

But foreign banks also make huge profits in Russia. For example, Raiffeisen Bank holds only around 10% of the entire bank’s assets but contributes 40% of net profits. But some British banks failed to start their business in Russia because they do not have some new products to offer their clients and people think there is no value in moving from a well-known local bank to a new foreign bank.

Opportunity for new banks

Although foreign banks in Russia make a huge profit and they capture a distinct amount of market share, there are very rare chances for a new bank to survive in these economic conditions. If a new western bank wants to enter in Russian market it would not get the same advantages as local banks.

Today competition is very tough in Russia. The foreign banks that are working in Moscow came at a good time, when there was lots of space for development and when Russia was more open to international companies and businesses.

Now Russia has strict regulations and policies for loans. A better field for new entrants might be offering new products and services to their clients.

I’m glad if I could share some insights into the Top Russian Banks and Russian Parabanks today with you here on my blog

Sources: Websites of the Banks/Webmoney; (c) 2020 by TheBankerBlog respectively its owner

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