Cumbersome, under-developed, Russia's banking sector is under the added strain of western financial sanctions
Originally appeared at bne IntelliNews
Russian retail banks fired over 25,000 employees since the beginning of 2015, RBC business daily reported on November 19, citing statements of 14 banks with a more than 40% share of loans to individuals in their portfolios.
Orient Express bank let go more than 4,000 employees since January, reducing its staff by almost half. Bank officials attributed the dismissals to stagnation in the retail lending market.
Another Russian market leader in consumer lending, Home Credit, also cut its staff by almost half.
VTB 24, where 2,600 employees were laid off since January, told RBC that the cuts were carried out under planned optimisation work. This is completed in its current stage and there will be no additional reductions in Q4, the bank said.
Only two banks, Tinkoff and Leto, hired more people, says RBC. Tinkoff Bank increased its staff by 189 people, while Leto Bank added 400 employees in January-September.
Earlier in November, the Central Bank of Russia (CBR) reported that the country's banks reduced their lending to the population by 5.7% in January-October. Unemployment has risen by 15% over the same period, according to the Labour Ministry, from 873,000 people to 935,000.