Sberbank targets Germany for direct banking operations

Russia-based Sberbank is contemplating launch of direct banking operations in Germany during the third quarter of 2014, as the lender aims to focus on growth in central and eastern European operations.

Russia-based Sberbank is contemplating launch of direct banking operations in Germany during the third quarter of 2014, as the lender aims to focus on growth in central and eastern European operations.

Sberbank Europe chief executive Mark Arnold was quoted by Reuters as saying that the bank is currently focused on growth and takeovers are not a priority in the CEE region. He added that the bank is still recovering from the eastern European network it acquired two years ago from Austria’s Volksbanken.

In order to expand its business, the Russian lender will open a direct banking operation in Germany in the third quarter of the year.

The new operations will operate separately from Denizbank, an Austro-Turkish direct lender owned by Sberbank that functions in Germany.

Arnold believes that the bank can expand its operations in other markets including the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

"I think the next year and a half (to) two years, the focus is going to be organic, and clearly Germany is an expansion point," he told the news agency.