Russian Banks Lost $25 Billion in First Half, Central Bank Tells RBC

Russian Banks Lost $25 Billion in First Half, Central Bank Tells RBC
National flag flies over the Russian Central Bank headquarters in Moscow, Russia, on May 27, 2022. (Maxim Shemetov/Reuters)

Russia’s banks lost a combined 1.5 trillion rubles ($24.95 billion) in the first six months of 2022, a top official at Russia’s central bank said on Friday in an interview with the RBC business daily.

It is the first time the regulator has disclosed banking sector earnings since Russia sent troops into Ukraine in February.

Around two-thirds of banks’ losses related to foreign currency operations, said Dmitry Tulin, first deputy chairman of Russia’s central bank.

Tulin said there was a “more than 50 percent chance” that losses for the full-year would not exceed the 1.5 trillion ruble figure from the first half.

The losses were concentrated among the largest banks, Tulin said. Loss-making institutions recorded a combined 1.9 trillion ruble ($31.60 billion) loss, compared to profitable lenders that earned a combined 400 billion rubles ($6.65 billion).

The central bank does not expect a repeat of the 2014–17 banking crisis, when the regulator had to bail out several lenders and stripped banking licenses from hundreds of poorly capitalized banks, Tulin said.

($1 = 60.1200 rubles)