Russia’s VTB Bank sees room for key rate cut to 7% to stimulate lending

Russia’s VTB Bank (VTBR.MM) CEO Andrei Kostin on Wednesday said there was room for the central bank to cut its key rate to 7.5% and then 7% from 8% now, steps that would stimulate lending in Russia’s banking sector.

The Bank of Russia next meets on rates on Sept. 16.

After suffering hefty losses in the first half of this year, Kostin expects the banking sector to be loss-making in 2022, but it should return to profit in 2023, though not at the record levels of profit registered in 2021, he said.