Lending and savingsIn recent years, the Russian banking sector has been emerging from the financial crisis triggered by sanctions and oil price plunge. Despite the record low inflation and relatively stable year-over-year GDP, the country's economy has not yet fully recovered. However, lending has evolved from crisis-driven to retail-driven, and the gross national savings rate is projected to reach 28.8 percent in 2025. While the volume of customer bank deposits grows gradually, Sberbank ranks as the most trusted institution for such purposes, accounting for the total deposit volume of nearly 21.5 trillion Russian rubles in 2019.
The total value of loans provided to customers by major banks in Russia amounted to roughly 15 trillion Russian rubles in 2019. Mortgage loans were the most demanded type, reflected by the growing trend in mortgage loan debt outstanding in the country. In the corporate loan market, despite the projected reduction in SME credit growth rate, the value of loans granted to businesses hit its historical maximum, reaching nearly 59 trillion Russian rubles in 2020.
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 39 million credit cards by the fourth quarter of 2020.
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.