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Coordinates: 55°41′55.69″N 37°34′45.54″E / 55.6988028°N 37.5793167°E / 55.6988028; 37.5793167

Sberbank (Sberbank, Russian: Сбербанк, initially a contraction of "сберегательный банк" – sbyeryegatyelniy bank; English: "Savings bank") is a state-owned Russian banking and financial services company headquartered in Moscow. The company was known as "Sberbank of Russia" until 2015. Sberbank has operations in several European and post-Soviet countries. As of 2014 it was the largest bank in Russia and Eastern Europe, and the third largest in Europe, ranked 33rd in the world and first in central and Eastern Europe in The Banker's Top 1000 World Banks ranking.[4]

Native name
Public (PAO)
Traded as MCXSBER
Industry Banking, Financial Services
Founded 1991; 27 years ago (1991)
Headquarters Moscow, Russia
Key people
Sergey Ignatiev (Chairman of the Supervisory Board)
Herman Gref (CEO, Chairman of the Executive Board)
Products consumer banking, corporate banking, finance and insurance, investment banking, mortgage loans, private banking, private equity, savings, Securities, asset management, wealth management, Credit cards
Revenue Increase US$ 43.04 billion (2016)
Increase RUB 1300.7 billion (2014)
Increase US$ 8.07 billion (2016)
Total assets Increase US$ 415.58. billion (2016) [1]
Owner Central Bank of Russia (51%)
Number of employees
Increase325,075 (2016) [2]
Subsidiaries Sberbank CIB
Subsidiaries in various European and post-Soviet countries
Rating Ba2 (Moody's), BBB- (Fitch) (2017)[3]



Russian President Putin visits a Moscow branch of Sberbank, November 2001
Russian coin commemorating the establishment of the first savings banks in the Russian Empire in 1841.

Early historyEdit

Sberbank's history goes back to Cancrin's financial reform of 1841,[5] when a network of the first state-owned savings banks was created in Russia. By the end of the 19th century, the network reached almost 4 thousand outlets with over 2 million depositors.[6]

Since 1905, savings bank outlets became authorised to sell insurance. After 1910, savings banks started subsidising credit cooperation institutions and extending loans to small lenders. In 1915, savings bank outlets started accepting government securities for depositing.[7]

Soviet savings banks systemEdit

After the October Revolution of 1917, the state savings banks system continued its activity and growth under the management of the Finance Ministry of the USSR as the State Labour Savings Banks System. From 1926, the saving bank outlets were used to pay wages to blue- and white-collar workers. The savings banks were used to distribute state lottery tickets and for the placement of state bonds with the population. The savings banks introduced wider services such as money transfers.[8]

By late 1980s, the Soviet savings bank system had almost 80 thousand branches. As part of Perestroika reforms, in 1987 the savings bank outlets are reorganised into the Savings Bank of the USSR. Within the Savings bank of the USSR,[9] separate savings banks were created in the Soviet Republics. Following the dissolution of the USSR, the former republican savings banks became state savings banks of the newly independent post-Soviet states.

In 1991, the Savings bank of the RSFSR has been reorganised into the Joint-Stock Commercial Savings Bank of the Russian Federation (Sberbank of Russia).

Sberbank of RussiaEdit

In post-Soviet Russia, Sberbank is the largest universal bank despite growing competition from private and other state-owned commercial banks. The bank has gradually expanded its international presence.[10]

Since 2007, Sberbank is led by former economy minister Herman Gref.[11]

Volksbank International acquisition, 2011Edit

In 2011, Sberbank acquired Volksbank International AG from its shareholders Österreichische Volksbanken AG, BPCE, DZ Bank and WGZ Bank. The deal included all VBI assets - banks in Slovakia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, Ukraine, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, except for Volksbank Romania. The agreed price was €585 to €645 million, depending on VBI business performance in 2011. VBI’s total assets excluding Romania was €9.4 billion in June 2011.[12]

Denizbank acquisition, 2012Edit

In June 2012 Sberbank bought the Turkish DenizBank for Turkish Lira 6,469 billion (about EUR 2,821 billion or US$3.504 billion) from the lender Dexia, which in 2011 was "partly nationalized by the governments of France, Belgium and Luxembourg".[13] The deal included DenizBank subsidiaries in Turkey, Austria and Russia.[14]

US and EU sanctions, 2014 and 2015Edit

After the annexation of the Crimean Peninsula by Russia in 2014, the Obama administration imposed sanctions on September 12, 2014, through the US Department of Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) by adding Sberbank and other entities to the Specially Designated Nationals List (SDN).[15][16][17][18][19][20][21][22][23][24] This was done in concert with the 31 July 2014 addition of Sberbank to the European Union sanctions list.[25][26] Sanctions consist of access restriction to the EU and US capital markets.[27][28][29] After announcement of the sanctions, and by the end of July, Sberbank's market value had dropped the most market value among the world’s major lenders plus investors moved $22 billion from Sberbank’s market capitalization.[30] Still, during the following year Sberbank’s share price grew back 89%.[31] Sberbank together with other Russian banks filed claims with the highest EU court to lift the punitive economic measures.[32]

On December 22, 2015, the United States imposed additional sanctions on Sberbank and its subsidiaries.[33][34][35][36][19][23]


The majority shareholder of Sberbank is the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, owning 50%+1 voting share of Sberbank's voting shares. The rest of the shares is dispersed among portfolio, private and other investors with an estimated shareholding of over 43% held by foreigners.[37]

Russia's central bank cannot sell its stake without a change in Russia's laws.[38][39]


The President and Chief Executive Officer is Herman Gref, confirmed by the Board of Directors on 16 October 2007.

The Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Sberbank is Sergey Ignatiev, former Chairman of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation.


As of 2015 the bank had about 16,500 offices with over 250,000 employees.[40] According to own estimates, the bank had over 137 million retail clients and over 1.1 million corporate clients in its 22 countries of presence.

As of August 2015 it accounted for 28.6% of aggregate banking assets, calling itself "the circulatory system of the Russian economy","key lender to the Russian economy and the biggest receiver of deposits".[40]

Within Russia, Sberbank is structured into several regional divisions (territorial banks):

ATM of Sberbank.
Sberbank regional head office in St. Petersburg
Sberbank sign in Russian and Altai language in Ust-Koksa, Altai Republic
Sberbank office in Khabarovsk
Sberbank office in Novosibirsk
Sberbank office in Tyumen
Sberbank in Smolensk
Baikal Bank   Zabaykalsky Krai
  Irkutsk Oblast
  Sakha Republic
Volga-Vyatka Bank   Nizhny Novgorod Oblast
  Vladimir Oblast
  Kirov Oblast
  Mari El
East Siberian Bank   Krasnoyarsk Krai
Far Eastern Bank   Khabarovsk Krai
  Primorsky Krai
  Amur Oblast
  Sakhalin Oblast
  Jewish Autonomous Oblast
  Magadan Oblast
  Kamchatka Krai
  Chukotka Autonomous Okrug
West Siberian Bank   Tyumen Oblast
  Omsk Oblast
  Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug
  Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug
West Urals Bank   Perm Krai
Moscow Bank   Moscow
Volga Region Bank   Samara Oblast
  Ulyanovsk Oblast
  Orenburg Oblast
  Saratov Oblast
  Volgograd Oblast
  Astrakhan Oblast
  Penza Oblast
Northern Bank   Yaroslavl Oblast
  Kostroma Oblast
  Ivanovo Oblast
  Vologda Oblast
  Arkhangelsk Oblast
  Nenets Autonomous Okrug
North Western Bank   Saint Petersburg
  Leningrad Oblast
  Murmansk Oblast
  Kaliningrad Oblast
  Pskov Oblast
  Novgorod Oblast
North Caucasus Bank   Stavropol Krai
  North Ossetia-Alania
Siberian Bank   Novosibirsk Oblast
  Tomsk Oblast
  Kemerovo Oblast
  Altai Krai
  Altai Republic
Central Russian Bank   Moscow Oblast
  Tver Oblast
  Kaluga Oblast
  Bryansk Oblast
  Smolensk Oblast
  Tula Oblast
  Ryazan Oblast
Ural Bank   Sverdlovsk Oblast
  Chelyabinsk Oblast
  Kurgan Oblast
Central Black Earth Bank   Voronezh Oblast
  Oryol Oblast
  Lipetsk Oblast
  Kursk Oblast
  Belgorod Oblast
  Tambov Oblast
South Western Bank   Rostov Oblast
  Krasnodar Krai

International presenceEdit

Sberbank office in Atyrau, Kazakhstan
  Belarus BPS Sberbank
  Kazakhstan Sberbank[41]
  Turkey DenizBank
  Austria Sberbank Europe
  Croatia Sberbank Europe
  Germany Sberbank Europe
  Bosnia and Herzegovina Sberbank Europe
  Serbia Sberbank Europe
  Slovenia Sberbank Europe
   Switzerland Sberbank Switzerland
  Hungary Sberbank Europe
  Czech Republic Sberbank Europe
  Slovakia Sberbank Europe
  China Sberbank International
  India Sberbank International
  Malaysia Sberbank International
  United States Sberbank CIB
  United Kingdom Sberbank CIB
  Cyprus Sberbank CIB

In March 2017 Ukraine imposed sanctions on Sberbank (and other Russian state-owned banks operating in Ukraine) as part of its continued sanctions on Russia for its annexation of Crimea and involvement in the War in Donbass.[42] Then the bank decided to sell its Ukrainian subsidiary.[42] It was sold to Ukrainian businessman Serhiy Tihipko in December 2017.[43]


Presentation of ice climbing in the Olympic Park of Sochi at the 2014 Winter Olympics, sponsored by Sberbank

Sberbank sponsors sports and charity events in various regions of Russia,[44][45][46][47] as well as educational projects[48][49] including projects developing financial literacy.[50][51]


Not returning of citizens' depositsEdit

Sberbank is the successor of Soviet saving banks, whose assets belonged to the state.[52] During Russia's transition to a market economy in the 1990s, in which these assets were sold, Sberbank provided no guarantee for citizens' deposits.[53] This resulted in a landslide depreciation, which in turn led to severe discontent among the Russian population.[54] Since 1996, partial compensation for investors' losses has been offered[55] - however, it must be noted that this only applied to state-owned banks such as Sberbank until 2003, offering them an unfair advantage.[56]

Low level of serviceEdit

In the 2000 Sberbank was repeatedly blamed for poor service.[57][58] Consequently, in subsequent years, Sberbank has introduced new services[59][60] and improved the quality of some of its existing ones. By the mid-2010s, the bank was reportedly among the market leaders with regards to quality of client services, such as services for retail depositors,[61] premium services[62] and several others.

Laundering stolen money, Prevezon Holdings, and Sergey P. PoymanovEdit

Sergei Leonidovich Magnitsky accused numerous persons and entities of laundering stolen money in tax fraud in Russia.[63] Owned by Denis Katsyv, Prevezon Holdings, represented by Natalia Vladimirovna Veselnitskaya, paid $6 million to resolve the claim without admitting any crime which subsequently led to all charges being dropped by the Justice Department in the summer of 2017.[63] In United States court, Sergey P. Poymanov sued Sberbank, several of its subsidiaries and executives, and a business rival for $750 million, claiming that a valuable gravel quarry he owned was illegally bankrupted and seized by the bank in a corporate raid in 2012. Sberbank says it took the quarry as collateral after Mr. Poymanov failed to repay a loan. Sberbank is retaining Marc Kasowitz for this court case.[63] Poymanov was subsequently arrested by Russian police who then subjected him to harsh pretrial detention at a notoriously rough Moscow jail, Matrosskaya Tishina, which is the same jail where Magnitsky died.[63]

Ukrainian accusation of funding for terrorism in UkraineEdit

Graffiti "It's a Russian bank" near the department of bank in Oleksandriia, Ukraine

In April 2014, several Ukrainian officials accused Sberbank of funding actions which took place in the East and South of Ukraine, including terrorism. The bank denied any involvement in the financing of illegal activities on Ukrainian territory, which was later confirmed by an examination carried out by the National Bank of Ukraine.[64]

In late 2013 and early 2014 the bank's network had become a target of the Do not buy Russian goods! campaign. Ukrainian activists appealed not to use Sberbank's services because of their Russian origin. The boycott had become widespread in March 2014 in connection with the Crimean crisis and 2014 Russian military intervention in Ukraine with a wave of protest actions against Russian banks in Ukraine, and against Sberbank in particular. Banks were vandalized in particular after the accusations of funding of terrorism in Ukraine.

March 2017 Ukraine imposed sanctions on Sberbank (and other Russian state-owned banks operating in Ukraine) as part of its continued sanctions on Russia for its annexation of Crimea and involvement in the War in Donbass.[42] Since then the bank´s Ukrainian subsidiary has been put on sale.[42] But as of August 2017 it has been unsuccessfully trying to sell the asset after the National Bank of Ukraine blocked the sale of the bank due to a "failure to provide the necessary and sufficient documents to carry out checks on the investors in compliance with Ukrainian law."[42]

See alsoEdit


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  2. ^ "Sberbank of Russia – About Sberbank". Retrieved 2016-10-06. 
  3. ^ "Рейтинг банков – 2017 (таблица)". 23 March 2017. Retrieved 1 May 2017. 
  4. ^ "Top 1000 World Banks – Sales bring changes in CEE but Russia still rules". The Banker. 30 June 2014. Retrieved 11 October 2014. 
  5. ^ "Sberbank of Russia - About Sberbank". 2013-11-01. Retrieved 2014-03-21. 
  6. ^ "1895-1917". Retrieved 6 October 2015. 
  7. ^ "Sberbank of Russia - 1895-1917". Retrieved 2014-11-06. 
  8. ^ "Sberbank of Russia - 1917-1941". Retrieved 2014-11-06. 
  9. ^ "Sberbank of Russia - 1953-1993". Retrieved 2014-11-06. 
  10. ^ "Sberbank of Russia - 1991-2008". Retrieved 2014-11-06. 
  11. ^ "Top 1000 World Banks – Sales bring changes in CEE but Russia still rules". Reuters. 29 May 2015. Retrieved 6 November 2015. 
  12. ^ "Sberbank completes Volksbank buy". Russian Times. 2011-09-09. Retrieved 2014-03-21. 
  13. ^ Kramer, Andrew (8 June 2012). "Sberbank of Russia to Buy DenizBank for $3.5 Billion". NYT. New York Times. Retrieved 12 September 2014. 
  14. ^ "Sberbank Announces Agreement to Acquire 99.85% of DenizBank". 8 June 2012. Retrieved 11 November 2015. 
  15. ^ "Announcement of Expanded Treasury Sanctions within the Russian Financial Services, Energy and Defense or Related Materiel Sectors". US Department of the Treasury. September 12, 2014. Retrieved February 10, 2018. 
  16. ^ "Ukraine-related Sanctions: OFAC has implemented the following Ukraine-related Sanctions". US Department of the Treasury. September 12, 2014. Retrieved February 10, 2018. 
  17. ^ "Executive Order - Blocking Property of Additional Persons Contributing to the Situation in Ukraine". The White House - Office of the Press Secretary. Retrieved February 10, 2018. 
  18. ^
  19. ^ a b Specially Designated Nationals List (SDN)
  20. ^ "Ukraine conflict: US and EU widen sanctions on Russia". BBC. July 30, 2014. Retrieved February 10, 2018. 
  21. ^ President of The United States (March 10, 2014). "Ukraine EO13660" (PDF). Federal Register. Retrieved February 10, 2018. 
  22. ^ President of The United States (March 19, 2014). "Ukraine EO13661" (PDF). Federal Register. Retrieved February 10, 2018. 
  23. ^ a b President of The United States (March 24, 2014). "Ukraine EO13662" (PDF). Federal Register. Retrieved February 10, 2018. 
  24. ^ "Time for Trump to remove US sanctions against Russian banks – VTB head". RT. January 19, 2017. Retrieved February 10, 2018. 
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  28. ^ "Obama team unveils new Russia sanctions". USA Today. 12 September 2014. Retrieved 10 November 2015. 
  29. ^ "Sweeping new US and EU sanctions target Russia's banks and oil companies". the guardian. 12 September 2014. Retrieved 10 November 2015. 
  30. ^ Halia Pavliva (28 July 2014). "Sberbank Drops as EU Sanctions on Russian Lenders Loom". Bloomberg News. Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved 14 November 2014. 
  31. ^ Elena Popina (6 December 2015). "Sberbank Rally Seen Fading as Russia-Turkey Rift Increases Risk". Bloomberg News. Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved 11 December 2015. 
  32. ^ "'EU in court!' Biggest Russian lender Sberbank launches sanctions appeal". RT. Autonomous Nonprofit Organization “TV-Novosti”. 24 October 2014. Retrieved 11 December 2015. 
  33. ^ "Treasury Sanctions Individuals and Entities for Sanctions Evasion and Other Activities Related to Russia and Ukraine: Underscores U.S. Commitment To Work With The EU To Maintain The Efficacy Of Existing Sanctions Until Russia Fully Complies With Its International Obligations With Respect To Ukraine". US Department of the Treasury. December 22, 2015. Retrieved February 10, 2018. 
  34. ^ "Russia/Ukraine-related Sanctions and Identifications: Specially Designated Nationals List Update". US Department of the Treasury. December 22, 2015. Retrieved February 10, 2018. 
  35. ^ "Executive Order - Blocking Property of Additional Persons Contributing to the Situation in Ukraine". The White House - Office of the Press Secretary. Retrieved February 10, 2018. 
  36. ^
  37. ^ Shareholder Structure
  38. ^ "Федеральный закон от 10.07.2002 N 86-ФЗ (ред. от 05.10.2015) "О Центральном банке Российской Федерации (Банке России)"". КонсультантПлюс. Retrieved 11 November 2015. 
  39. ^ "Сбербанк могут продать без закона". Газета Коммерсантъ. Retrieved 11 November 2015. 
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  51. ^ "Charity and sponsorship". Retrieved 2015-11-11. 
  52. ^ § 3. Правовое регулирование сберегательного дела. Виды вкладов. Грачева Е. Ю., Соколова Э. Д. Финансовое право: Учебное пособие. — 2-е изд., испр. и доп. — М.: Юриспруденция, 2000. — 304 с. (in Russian). ISBN 5-8401-0042-0.
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  59. ^ "Новая система работы для ускорения обслуживания клиентов Сбербанка". Банковский портал Воронежа. Retrieved 2015-11-11. 
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External linksEdit

  Media related to Sberbank at Wikimedia Commons