Putin says Russian financial sector overcame sanctions-related hurdles

Head of Russia's biggest bank says Sberbank lost almost all its assets abroad due to West's sanctions, but 'formed reserves' for all problems

Elena Teslova  | 07.03.2023 - Update : 08.03.2023
Putin says Russian financial sector overcame sanctions-related hurdles


Russia managed to overcome difficulties in the financial sector caused by the West's sanctions, President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday.

"Thanks to the professional actions of our banking community, government agencies, and the efforts of the central bank, I want to emphasize that we managed to overcome all these difficulties in general," Putin said in Moscow at a meeting with Herman Gref, head of Russia's biggest bank, Sberbank.

Putin added that Russia "boosted its economic and financial sovereignty" and that Sberbank's stable position is "a good signal for the whole economy."

For his part, Gref said Sberbank is "the most attacked entity" in the country, which experiences unprecedented challenges in terms of complexity and power.

He added that the bank faced an incredibly difficult period as it lost almost all its assets abroad, which caused huge losses. Besides, he said, US sanctions banned Sberbank from stock markets and cut possibilities for it of working with dollars and euros.

However, Gref said, the bank "formed reserves" for all problems, and with the approval of the Bank of Russia, Sberbank started disclosing its financial results to demonstrate its stability.

He said Sberbank's decision to base its products on internally developed IT solutions proved right, and the exit of Western IT companies did not affect the bank's work.

"Today, 38,000 engineers work at the bank, it's the biggest IT structure in the country," Gref said.

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