Russia’s top lender Sberbank launches smart TV to offset West’s heavy push

Russia’s top lender, Sberbank, on Tuesday unveiled a range of smart TVs, the latest addition to its technology arsenal, in line with its international activities, largely compromised by Western sanctions against Moscow over the Ukraine incident.

Sberbank is developing its non-financial businesses, such as e-commerce, technology and cloud services, in an effort to address narrow margins, a process that seems determined to continue even if sanctions stop its operations elsewhere.

Lenders abandoned almost all of its European markets earlier this month, blaming large cash flows and threats to its workers and assets, a move that seemed inevitable after the European Central Bank ordered its European hand off.

In partnership with electronics retailer M.Video, Sberbank has begun selling televisions, which use the bank’s virtual assistant software and offer services such as online streaming and catering from its digital ecosystem.

Sberbank does not disclose how much it spends on technology, but the bank has previously told Reuters that it is a huge investment and that it has grown since it changed its strategy to focus more on technology devices and solutions.

Shares of Sberbank, the majority owned by the Russian government, have plummeted since Russia launched a “special military operation” in Ukraine and Western countries imposed unprecedented sanctions on Russia’s financial sector.

Thomson Reuters 2022

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