Russian Emperor Nikolai I ordered the formation of savings bank outlets at the Moscow and St. Petersburg treasury houses with his decree of 1841 – the year marking the inception of Russia’s oldest bank, Sberbank.
Entering the newly-opened savings office in Saint Petersburg on March 1, 1842, Nikolai Kristofari, the Loan Treasury officer, could not have imagined that he would become the first ever customer of the financial institution destined to be one of the biggest financial institutions in the world.
Sberbank today celebrates its 178th anniversary and it is a powerful modern bank which is rapidly becoming one of the major global financial institutions. Sberbank holds almost one third of aggregate Russian banking sector assets, it is the key lender to the national economy and the biggest deposit taker in Russia. The Central Bank of the Russian Federation is the founder and principal shareholder of Sberbank owning 50% of the bank’s authorised capital plus one voting share, with the remaining 50% held by domestic and international investors. Sberbank has more than 97.8 million active customers in 21 countries. Sberbank has the largest distribution network in Russia with almost 15,000 branches, and its international operations include the UK, US, CIS, Central and Eastern Europe, India, China, and other countries.