The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookiesbefore using this site. Please see our Subscription Terms and Conditions.

All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2022 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.

The credit crunch heads east: Russian banks prepare for battle

Just as banks in Russia were beginning to resemble their peers outside the country, engaging in conventional retail and corporate banking, the western financial market crisis hit. Reduced availability of long-term funding from abroad highlights the shortage of such a market in Russia and reveals a systemic vulnerability. Will this help state-owned banks, which had previously been losing market share, turn the tables on their privately owned rivals?

Inflation, not liquidity, is the real problem


NO DOUBT IT is the boomtown traffic clogging Moscow’s wide roads that suggests the simile to the senior Russian banker. He has abandoned his car and arrives for the meeting with Euromoney short of breath and sweating from the brisk walk in the spring sunshine. "The financial system may slow or even stall in Russia but there’s one fast lane that is still open – and that’s for the state-owned corporations and banks to speed along. They still have access to free money."

As a private-sector banker, it’s not a situation he approves of. People and institutions that have been administered a course of free money grow dependent on it: it will be the source, he suggests, of, at worst, corruption, at best, misallocation of funds into unproductive investment. But it’s a fact of life in Russia. The state has got its power back: and that applies to the banking industry just as much as to oil.

Watch out for Russia’s state-owned banks. The crisis in western financial markets has handed them a huge advantage in their own large and fast-growing home market – one that until last August seemed ripe for foreign banks and private-sector players to exploit.

You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.


Unlimited access to and

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually


Unlimited access to and, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors


Already a user?

We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree