The regulator’s head told an Association of European Businesses (AEB) event that Russia’s banks are finally becoming an attractive option for investors, and that the sector is now a “partner for real companies and the real economy”.
She highlighted the regulator’s successes in cleaning up the Russian financial sector during her six-year tenure.
“The current dynamics in the Russian banking sector look quite good … the sector is more stable and more transparent than ever before,” Nabiullina said.
The former economics aide to President Vladimir Putin was appointed to the Central Bank in 2013 with a mandate to clean-up Russia’s under-performing and scandal-plagued banking sector. The importance of increasing the stability of Russia’s banks came into sharper focus with the introduction of sanctions following Russia’s annexation of Crimea and the 2014-15 financial crisis.
Since joining the central bank, Nabiullina has revoked more than half of all Russian banking licenses, cutting the number of lenders active in the country to 414 at the last count.
The clean-up drive has cost Russia more than $80 billion, ratings agency Fitch estimates, as the Central Bank bailed-out a number of struggling lenders. Around three-quarters of the Russian banking sector is now state-owned.