Russia’s top banks suffer as Western sanctions bite

Russia’s two most powerful banks went from their best year ever in 2021 to fighting for their future, with the outlook for Sberbank PJSC only slightly less grim than the Kremlin-friendly VTB Group.

US sanctions imposed on the state-owned lenders over President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine caused Sberbank’s European unit to unravel and called into question its ability to pull off a daring bid to become Russia’s version of Inc.