Russia’s banks posted a combined loss of nearly £22 billion in the first half of the year as sanctions cut them off from much of the international financial system
- The figure was announced by Dmitry Tulin, deputy chairman of the Central Bank of Russia
- Western countries have imposed a series of sanctions on Putin’s cronies
Determined: Britain’s Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi said the sanctions had already plunged Russia into a deep recession
Russia’s banks made a combined loss of nearly £22 billion in the first half of the year as sanctions cut them off from much of the international financial system.
The figure was announced by Dmitry Tulin, deputy chairman of the country’s central bank, in an interview with the Russian business daily RBC.
It was the first time since Vladimir Putin’s troops invaded Ukraine in February that the regulator published earnings for the banking sector.
Tulin’s comments came as the G7 countries, including the UK, agreed to cap Russia’s oil sales revenues.
Western countries have imposed a range of sanctions, including freezing the assets of Putin’s cronies, kicking Russian lenders out of the Swift global cross-border payments system and restricting trade.
Many multinational companies have also withdrawn from the country. But Europe remains heavily dependent on Russian gas – allowing the Kremlin to benefit from rising prices. The ruble, having plummeted immediately after the war, has recovered sharply.
Tulin’s comments gave the first clue as to how the Russian banks were handling it.
He said three quarters were profitable for a total of £5.7bn in the first half, while the remainder posted combined losses of £27.2bn.
Small and medium-sized banks suffered less, Tulin said, as they were not subject to sanctions and were less involved in international financial markets.
He added that two-fifths of the country’s largest banks reported losses, without naming any of them.
The central bank does not expect a repeat of the 2014-17 crisis, when it bailed out several lenders and revoked banking licenses from hundreds of banks that lacked sufficient capital, Tulin said.
Russia’s isolation hasn’t had as severe an adverse impact as one might expect, he added, but the adverse impact may take time.
British Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi said sanctions had already pushed Russia into a deep recession and new measures, including the G7 ceiling, would go further. “We are united against this barbaric aggression and will do everything to support Ukraine,” he said.
The ruble, which fell to over 120 rubles against the dollar in March, held steady against the US currency at around 60 rubles yesterday.