Sberbank Europe Group (Sberbank Europe AG) was a banking group headquartered in Vienna, Austria, and owned by Sberbank, a Russian state-controlled company. Sberbank Europe provided financial services to over 780,000 customers in eight countries in Central and Eastern Europe. It has been in liquidation since early March 2022 following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Sberbank Europe AG was established in 2012 after Sberbank acquired Volksbank International AG (VBI) and rebranded it Sberbank Europe. The deal involved all VBI assets – banks in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Serbia, Slovenia, Ukraine and Slovakia, apart from Volksbank Romania. Société Générale and J.P.Morgan acted as financial advisors to Sberbank. Troika Dialog also advised on the transaction. The deal price was €505 million, which is 1.0x VBI book value (excluding Romania). Organizational transformation and group restructuring were exercised during that period. It was decided that the regional headquarters of Sberbank Europe Group would be in Vienna, Austria. In 2013, Sberbank Europe received a full banking license in Austria. Volksbank subsidiaries were fully rebranded as Sberbank by 2014.
Sberbank Europe obtained its first Fitch Ratings investment grade, BBB-, in 2013. Fitch affirmed its rating as BB+ with positive outlook in 2017. In 2019, Fitch upgraded the Long-Term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) to BBB- and confirmed it with a Stable Outlook in 2020.
In 2014 Sberbank Europe received a syndicated loan of €350m and launched Sberbank Direct in Germany, an online direct bank with basic retail products. Sberbank Direct gained €1.7 bn in deposits by 2015. In 2018, Sberbank Direct launched an online instant loan offer in Germany.
In 2015 Sberbank Europe sold 99.5% stake of its Slovak subsidiary, Sberbank Slovensko, to Penta Investments for a confidential price. Sberbank Europe AG completed the Comprehensive Assessment consisting of the Asset Quality Review (AQR) and the Stress Test conducted by the European Central Bank. In 2016, Sberbank finalized the sale of the Slovak subsidiary and converted €370m of subordinated loans (Tier II capital) into Common Equity Tier I capital, strengthening its capital structure. In December 2017, Sberbank Europe completed the sale of its stake of 99.9230% in PJSC «VS Bank» (Ukraine) to TAS Group.
2019 became Sberbank Europe's most successful financial year. The Group generated a profit after tax of EUR 40.6 million.
In 2018, Sberbank won in categories “Best Bank in CEE” by The Banker magazine, “Most Innovative Digital Bank in CEE” by Global Finance magazine and "Strongest Banking Brand in the World" by Brand Finance magazine. In 2020, Sberbank won the World’s Best Digital Bank Awards by Global Finance magazine. In 2021, the bank confirmed its title of the Strongest Banking Brand in the World according to Brand Finance. Ownership
Sberbank Europe Group is fully owned by Sberbank, a Russian company and Russia’s largest bank. The Ministry of Finance of Russia is the principal shareholder of Sberbank, owning 50% of the bank’s authorized capital plus one voting share, with the remaining 50% held by domestic and international investors.Management Board
The Management Board of Sberbank Europe AG consists currently of the following management board members:
- Pavel Barchugov, Liquidator
- Alexander Witte, Liquidator
Sberbank Europe AG had also previously the following members of the Management Board:
- Sonja Sarközi, CEO
- Gerhard Randa, CEO
- Axel Hummel, CEO
- Mark Arnold, CEO
- Stefan Zapotocky (Chief Corporate and Investment Banking Officer)
- Igor Strehl (Chief Corporate and Investment Banking Officer)
- András Hámori, Retail
- Arndt Röchling, CFO
- Christian Kubitschek, CFO
- Alexey Bogatov (CRO/CIO)
- Markus Krause, CRO
- Valentin Mihov (Strategie)
The bank had 187 branches in Central and Eastern Europe with over 3,800 employees (as of YE 2020).
Sberbank Europe Group AG operations was active in three core businesses: Retail business, Large corporate & investment banking and Small and medium-sized enterprise business. Retail business involves the provision of mortgages and consumer loans, savings and pension products and digital banking programs. Large corporate & investment banking includes corporate, real estate and acquisition financing as well as trade finance and treasury products. Small and medium-sized enterprise business offers liquidity financing (Working Capital/Overdraft), investment financing (equipment/business facilities), Treasury finance products and transaction business support. Subsidiaries in Europe
Sberbank Europe Group AG was present in 10 markets in Central and Eastern Europe:
- Austria: Sberbank Europe AG
- Bosnia and Herzegovina (Sarajevo and Banja Luka): Sberbank BH d.d. Sarajevo, Sberbank a.d. Banja Luka
- Croatia: Sberbank d.d.
- Czech Republic: Sberbank CZ, a.s.
- Germany: Branch Sberbank Direct
- Hungary: Sberbank Magyarország Zrt
- Serbia: Sberbank Srbija a.d. Beograd
- Slovenia: Sberbank banka d.d.
- Slovakia (sold in 2015)
- Ukraine (sold in 2017)