Private Online Banking in Russia: Tinkoff Cheapest, Sberbank Among the Most Expensive

According to the report by the Marksweb Rank&Report agency, Russians spend hundreds of rubles (1 USD = 63.42 rubles) on online banking services every month. Business daily Vedomosti reports that the agency published its findings in October based on the research that included 30 Russian banks with the largest number of online clients. Examined banks’ fees included everything from the cost of online service, payment commissions, and token usage.
While payments to accounts within the client’s bank are performed without charge, transfers to accounts with other banks cost between 0.5-2% for credit card transfers and between 0.1-1% for direct transfers. However, there are exceptions – for instance, Sberbank charges its customers a fee for transferring money to a credit card issued in a different city.
According to the report, Tinkoff Bank offers the most favorable conditions for its online customers: it doesn’t charge for any of the observed services, including inter-bank credit card transfers for sums up to 20.000 rubles per month. This is not a surprise, as Tinkoff Bank performs all of its business online and has no physical presence. With approximately USD 2.83 billion in assets, Tinkoff is ranked 46th on the list of Russia’s largest banks (one spot below the infamous Peresvet Bank). The largest Russian bank Sberbank, which serves more than 80% of all online banking customers in the country, charges the highest fees. However, bank’s representative stated that most of the clients use services that aren’t subject to charge.

Still Too Many Banks in Russia, Fitch Agency Says

Russian news agency Rosbalt quotes the Director of the Financial Institutions Analyst Department with Fitch Dmitry Vasilyev who stated that the number of banks in Russia remains too high even after the Central Bank’s recent cleanup. The number of banks was reduced from over 1,000 to approximately 600 within the last couple of years, Vasilyev said. He stated that the number of banks per million inhabitants in countries comparable to Russia in terms of GDP is lower than the Russian average. Consolidation of the Russian banking sector continues, but it hasn’t affected the smallest banks yet.

Earlier last week, Fitch blew the lid off the troubled financial condition of Bank Peresvet, a bank that has the Russian Orthodox Church as the single largest shareholder, and reduced its credit rating to “D”, designating a bank with weaknesses.