OREANDA-NEWS. The net profit of Russian banks approached a record in the crisis year of 2020, as stated in the Central Bank's review.

The profit of Russian banks amounted to 1.6 trillion rubles. This is only six percent less (or 100 billion rubles) than in 2019, which was successful for banks. In 2020, 75 Russian banks were unprofitable, and a year earlier – 68 ones. The average decline in bank profits was about 30 percent.

The Central Bank notes that the crisis caused by the pandemic did not have a negative effect on lending. Over the past year, the corporate loan portfolio of banks increased by 9.9 percent. Russian banks have also increased lending to Russians, with mortgages becoming the main driver of retail growth. Over the year, the quality of bank assets has not deteriorated significantly, the regulator emphasizes. The Central Bank expects banks to earn at least a trillion rubles in 2021.

Earlier, participants in a conference organized by the Central Bank accused Russian banks of creating "zombie companies" that would only maintain their efficiency thanks to the restructuring of old loans and government support measures. According to experts, the presence of a large number of "zombie companies" on the market negatively affects the national economy as a whole. This can lead to lower productivity and ultimately a slowdown in GDP growth.