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.