Banks' profits to be record in post-crisis Russia

 Banks' profits to be record in post-crisis Russia

Russia's banking system would likely hit record profits next year, the main Sberbank analyst Mikhail Matovnikov said.

According to him, Russian banks's profits would have reached 1.5 trillion rubles this year, if the rehabilitation of Otkritie FC Bank and B&Bank had not occurred. The analyst also noted a positive trend in the growth in loan portfolios to individuals and legal entities.

According to the Russian Central Bank, for 11 months of this year Russian banks's profits increased by 10.4% in annual terms - up to 870 billion rubles. In mid-October, Deputy Chairman of the Central Bank Vasily Pozdyshev said that the profits of Russian banks by the end of 2017 would reach around 1 trillion rubles ($16.84 bln) or even higher. Last year, the profits of Russian banks increased 4.8 times to 930 billion rubles.

Nevertheless, Matovnikov warns that a number of economic difficulties will worsen the situation of stable banks.

"All banks are under the negative influence of general macroeconomic trends. Serious risks are associated with the low marginality of many banks, which is a continuing risk factor," RIA Novosti cited the analyst as saying.

The Bank of Russia, in his opinion, will slow the pace of revoking licenses to 10 banks per year, so in 2017 their number will probably be about 50.

Chairman of the State Duma’s Financial Market Committee, Anatoly Aksakov, speaking with Vestnik Kavkaza, agreed with the forecast of the main Sberbank analyst, explaining that such high rates are caused by a change in the macroeconomic situation, which causes an increase in demand for loans, which, in turn, will lead to an increase in the interest income that banks receive through active lending.

"Another factor is commission income: banks actively offer various financial services to the population, of course, profiting from commission income," he noted.

The expert also highly appreciated the actions of the Central bank to improve the banking system: as a result of its strict requirements, according to Aksakov, the banks cleaned up their assets and balances. "It leads to the third source of profit - an increase in reserves that were formed under the troubled assets of banks," the chairman of the State Duma’s Financial Market Committee said.

Anatoly Aksakov drew attention to the fact that high profits of banks are useful to not just credit organizations, but also to the population and manufacturing. "First of all, the profit tax goes to the regional budgets, which get more opportunities to finance various programs and projects. In addition, banks will be more active in issuing consumer and mortgage loans, car loans and so on," the expert pointed out.

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