Lending and savingsAmid the latest geopolitical and socio-economic events, the Russian banking sector has been undergoing a major financial crisis triggered by severe sanctions imposed by leading economies in response to the Russian military attack on Ukraine. In February 2022 Central Bank set the key interest rate as high as 20 percent due to the spiked inflation rate. Even though interest rates on consumer loans relatively stabilized over the past months, demand for loans has significantly dropped countrywide. As the volume of customer bank deposits grew gradually, Sberbank ranked the most trusted institution for such purposes.
Mortgage loans were the most demanded consumer loans, reflected by the growing trend in mortgage loan debt outstanding in the country. In the corporate loan market, SME credit growth rate was set for six percent increase in 2022. the value of loans granted to businesses hit its historical maximum, exceeding 86 trillion Russian rubles by January 2022.
Consumer bankingInterest in retail banking in Russia has been very prominent in recent years. In that context, consumer banking services saw a speedy development, which partly also promoted a gradual migration towards cashless payments. Even though customer affinity for cash remains dominant, the volume of credit cards issued across the country has been steadily increasing year-over-year, counting about 40 million credit cards by the first quarter of 2021.
Even though the share of Russians using banking services is increasing, the loyalty rate of primarily used banks dropped to an all-time low in 2020, resulting from a steady decline over the past years. However, the majority of users reported general satisfaction with their financial service providers in that year. The majority of customers processing bank-related matters online serve as evidence of an advanced stage of the banking system's digitalization.