Analysts feared that European banks in Russia would suffer as the economy took a downturn but in fact they have fared better than expected.
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Russian lender Tinkoff has fared better than most of its peers during the uncertainty that has engulfed the country's economy in the past 12 months, thanks in no small part to a wide portfolio of products, which take in debit and credit cards, insurance, mortgages and SME servicing.
Private equity investment in central and eastern Europe could be set to increase as investors look to capture the region’s potential as its economies return to growth.
While the rapid devaluation of the rouble may have slowed, top Russian banks are still exposed to US dollar-denominated loans.
Russia’s central bank governor, Elvira Nabiullina, talks to The Banker about what is being done to address the inflation and devaluation of the rouble and the tools she is using to fortify the country’s economy against external shocks.
With the six-month drop in the global oil price stinging the Russian economy, it looked as if the country's government would introduce reforms to protect it against future shocks. But with prices on the brink of a recovery, this positive momentum towards change is in danger of being lost.
Banks in Russia are feeling the force of Western sanctions, with funds from international capital markets slowing and deposits experience a lull, but some institutions are finding ways to maintain commercial relationships with foreign investors.
Russia's banks endured a tough 2013, as shown by the results in The Banker's Top 100 ranking, with the picture only likely to get bleaker when the impact of a turbulent 2014 is known.
A tumbling exchange rate and sharp interest rate hikes point to growing threats to Russia's financial stability in 2015, even though the central government's debt burden is very low.
Russia has been a key profit driver for several Western European banks and the slide in the rouble will have a significant impact.
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