The head of Sberbank himself believes that in this case the regulator itself will become a monopolist in the market. “When you create an artificial monopoly, introducing the state to some fields, you can say in advance that you are creating an uncompetitive model,” he lamented at the same Gaidar forum. Sberbank’s press service did not comment further on questions about the differences between the bank and the Central Bank.
“There is some slyness when a player who, by virtue of his size, speaks almost exclusively to dictate conditions to the market,” says an official in the financial and economic bloc of the government. Sberbank is the successor of the Soviet savings bank with a huge client base, an extensive network of branches, plus the whole bank serves a large number of public sector payroll projects, he recalls.
Context. Disagreements between Sberbank and the Central Bank in the sphere of fintech in recent years have happened regularly, but now the interests of the bank and the regulator have collided in several big directions at once.
Back in 2014, Sberbank really hoped that a national payment card system would be created on the basis of its PRO100 project, but after a couple of years the project had to be closed - the Central Bank decided to make such a system from scratch (this is how the World card appeared).
Another controversial point was related to cyber security: the Central Bank launched its center for monitoring and exchanging information on cyber threats in the banking sector (FinCERT) in 2015. Last summer, a similar project of a commercial platform was presented by the structure of Sberbank Bizon. The regulator again insisted that banks must be connected to its system without fail.
Last fall, Sberbank launched its own biometric customer data collection system and, in terms of growth rates, its base is several times ahead of a similar state base. Both projects are aimed at ensuring that as many banking services as possible can be obtained by clients without entering the branch. Banks are obliged to join the Central Bank system: from this year, 20% of their branches must accept data in the Unified biometric system, and from the next - everything.