4 Feb 2019 18:30

Kostin explains difference in VTB's, Sberbank's approaches to creating ecosystems based on relationship with Alibaba

MOSCOW. Feb 4 (Interfax) - Sberbank itself wants to become a technological entity, while VTB sees itself as a partner to such companies, VTB chief Andrei Kostin said, explaining the difference in the two lender's approaches to building their respective ecosystems.

"We don't ourselves want to be Alibaba, but we are prepared to be Alibaba's wallet, while Sberbank wants to Alibaba. This is the difference in our approaches," Kostin said during the opening of a finance school jointly with the Higher School of Economics.

"After all, we see our role in the form of a bank which could interact with entities that are now developing in different areas of the economy in order to be a financial partner," the VTB CEO said.

Leading international financial organizations are committed to remaining banks, he said. "Besides Sberbank, I do not know other large financial which have declared themselves technological companies rather than banks," Kostin said. At the same time, technology is important for banks, he said.

"Engagement of banks into other spheres of economic activity, which Sberbank is talking about, is present in the plans of any sizable financial entity, including VTB. But we see somewhat of a different role for ourselves. If Sberbank sees itself as somewhat of a platform or technological company, then we believe that we are a financial instrument, a financial consultant, a financial partner for this type of company," Kostin said.

It was reported earlier that VTB had begun drawing up a new development strategy for 2019-2022. As part of this process, the bank has begun thinking about creating its own ecosystem. Sberbank, Tinkoff Group, and Qiwi have already begun to build their ecosystems.