Russian banking consolidation to accelerate
Dmitry Eropkin, president of Russia’s Impexbank, said as Raiffeisen completed its acquisition of his bank that he expected to see “the consolidation of the top 50 Russian banks within the next two to three years”.
Indeed, the much-anticipated next wave of consolidation in the European banking sector seems to be gathering momentum, and in Russia’s case it’s not all one-way traffic. Russian-owned, Lithuania-based Bankas Snoras has become the first eastern European group to buy a UK bank, following its acquisition of Pointon York Limited on 25 April. Alex Iapichino of Simmons & Simmons, the legal advisers to Bankas Snoras, says: “This is a trend we expect to see more of in the future.” Raiffeisen CEO Herbert Stepic says he’s got his hands full for now, but admits to a roving eye when pressed about the possibility of further acquisitions in the region. “If a nice bride walks past, you take a look,” he chuckles.