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jimmyb78
25-04-2011, 10:25
Hi all,

It seems HSBC is closing its retail sector in Russia meaning my days of excellent service and internet banking are coming to an end. So, what to do with my savings? I've heard that several other foreign banks are also quitting the sector, so does that mean we're left with just the Russian options now? Is there something going on here that is potentially sinister? Perhaps it's just time to send my money over to the UK...The thought of having to redeposit with Sberbank makes we want to cry.

So Raiffaisen seems to be a popular choice but are there operations secure here? If people know of somewhere offering decent interest rates and a high level of service, please let me know! I've got until June 30th apparently.

Parco
25-04-2011, 10:51
Most (if not all) of the 'foreign' banks here are Russian owned and licensed from the overseas company; i.e. Raiffeisen, SocGen = BSGV, CitiBank.

I was surprised when HSBC and Barclays both moved into the retail banking sector here and so didn't think it would last long. In my opinion, the UK banks are just too safe and stable for the Russian market.

The one lesson I've learnt here in Russia is simple as ABC:

Anyone
But
Citibank

DavidB
25-04-2011, 11:43
I'm in the same situation, but luckily I've been checking other options over the past few months.

Some have had good luck with Sberbank and Alfa Bank, but others reported horror stories. When I checked myself, I didn't find anything attractive about their service offerings, so I skipped them.

I haven't evaluated deposit rates, because I use my Russian accounts for transactions only. For transaction accounts, the two which seem to offer the best deal are Raiffeisen and UniCredit.

Raiffeisen offers the best exchange rates, but their fees are slightly higher than UniCredit. It will probably be cheaper to use Raiffeisen if you exchange more than $3000 or 2000 per month.

UniCredit exchange rates are slightly less competitive (but still better than Sberbank, Alfa, etc.)
They also have a good network of branches throughout Europe, which allows you to withdraw Euros in the Eurozone without fees.

Both have good internet banking systems - better than HSBC's, from what I've seen so far.

Viola
25-04-2011, 12:29
Raiffeisen and BSGV are OK. I've been a client of Raiffeisen for more than 10 years, never regret. BSGV is "too French" if you know what I mean but good as well.

Two most horrible are Citi and Sberbank, don't even think about approaching them.


Raiffeisen offers the best exchange rates, but their fees are slightly higher than UniCredit. It will probably be cheaper to use Raiffeisen if you exchange more than $3000 or €2000 per month.
Raiffeisen offers multicurrency accounts, very convenient, best possible exchange rate. No comission if you use this account.

Ulyana.de.fine
25-04-2011, 12:58
Just as a matter of interest - what is wrong with Citibank?
There are always a lot of negative comments about them - with no specifics.
Just wondering ...

Parco
25-04-2011, 13:08
CitiBank... quite possibly the worst customer service in the world. Staff are rude and arrogant, customers are of course a nuisance. I used to have an account with them, NEVER again! I'm happy with my current bank, BSGV ...absolutely brilliant in terms of customer service and nothing is too difficult for them.

CitiBank may have changed/improved since but their reputation has been so bad for so long, their bad image tends to stick. A bit like Barclays in the UK ...the type of company that would win awards for the worst customer service.

SOS11
25-04-2011, 16:13
Wow I'm shocked.
I myself am a client in HSBC have been so happy since I started using HSBC here since it's SOOO much better than the other Russian banks service wise and I find it so convenient :C
Is it really true ??? :(((
I actually just heard
:mooooh:
:sick::cry:

rhand
25-04-2011, 16:15
Just read it here. I am an HSBC client, but with a a branch outside of Russia fortunately. Sad to hear HSBC is not making it down here..

tasel
27-04-2011, 17:03
I use Raiffeisen, ICICI, ALFA & VTB. I am so happy with Raiffeisen and their services.

tsarski
27-04-2011, 17:09
I have been using Raiffeisen for the past 5 years and have never been happier with their services.

SOS11
27-04-2011, 18:38
Hi all,

It seems HSBC is closing its retail sector in Russia meaning my days of excellent service and internet banking are coming to an end. So, what to do with my savings? I've heard that several other foreign banks are also quitting the sector, so does that mean we're left with just the Russian options now? Is there something going on here that is potentially sinister? Perhaps it's just time to send my money over to the UK...The thought of having to redeposit with Sberbank makes we want to cry.

So Raiffaisen seems to be a popular choice but are there operations secure here? If people know of somewhere offering decent interest rates and a high level of service, please let me know! I've got until June 30th apparently.

So is it final??? Completely decided and it's going to happen?? :mooooh:
I just don't want to face the truth I guess :S

DavidB
27-04-2011, 18:44
So is it final??? Completely decided and it's going to happen?? :mooooh:
I just don't want to face the truth I guess :S

Yes, it's absolutely final. The closest in terms of service offering is probably UniCredit. That's where I'm going.

Raiffeisen is also ok, but UniCredit has a branch closer to me, and I can withdraw money from my Russian EUR account fee-free in Europe. UniCredit internet banking is also better, IMO, especially on iPhone.

SOS11
28-04-2011, 00:04
Yes, it's absolutely final. The closest in terms of service offering is probably UniCredit. That's where I'm going.

Raiffeisen is also ok, but UniCredit has a branch closer to me, and I can withdraw money from my Russian EUR account fee-free in Europe. UniCredit internet banking is also better, IMO, especially on iPhone.

Thanks. I think I'll also most likely open in Unicredit. There's one not far from me. Raffaisen is also there so will see. I will still miss the good services in HSBC though. For me it was something too good to be true when I started using HSBC after local Banks here. Pity all good things always come to an end :floating:

Benedikt
28-04-2011, 06:40
and on Tverskaya they all speak excellent english, if that might be of help. it was the first branch they opened, if i recall correct. never any problems. just check out if you nearest bank is an 'A' or 'B' operation. there a slightly different services offered, has to do with the takeover of another bank some time ago and switching over the data base and getting accsess to everything takes time, or so i was told.( did not know computers are THAT slow...). i money transfers only once a year, saves on commission, or 'fly nikki' for 99 euros 5 times a year and take the cash out.. might be cheaper. since up to 10 000 $ you don't have to declare.
on top of it, for me it is also convenient, 'my' bank is around the corner where i live. i can also do internet banking,'raiffeisen connect' let me do all money transfers by computer, also pay tv, internet and the like commissin free.
one hassle only, if you do not access your account at least once a month, your password and log in expires and you have to schlepp to the bank to get a new one. for security reason, they say.
but all in all i would go for Raiffeisen.

tgma
28-04-2011, 10:58
Add me as another happy Raiffeisen customer - been with them for 10 years, no major issues.
I had an account at Alfa bank when I worked for an Alfa company, and they were not bad, but Raiffeisen is better - proper Western service, and staff always really try to help you.
Agree about "Anyone But Citibank" - it's a nightmare blend of the worst of Western bureaucracy and compliance, and Russian customer non-service. Everyone I know who uses them has been unhappy, and we have had to deal with them for business, and found that staff are always putting their priorities over yours. On one famous occasion they were expecting us to transfer documents from one bit of Citibank to another, because "we're not allowed to deal with that bit of the bank".

An American friend of mine, a highly respected banker on this market, had his house purchase frozen, because the Citibank goons in America assumed that any large transfer out of Russia had to be criminal. This despite the fact that the guy was a close friend of the head of Citibank here, and was cleaner than clean, and could prove it. On the other hand with Raiffeisen I have made quite big transfers both into and out of Russia, and they have not batted an eyelid.

Baron
04-05-2011, 12:25
Yes - very dissappointing.

Looks like Raiffeisen or SocGen are the picks of the bunch.



TRADITION Package – an access to a basic range of banking services at the most affordable rate:

Bank account
1 monthly account statement
VISA Electron/ Maestro
BSGV Direct (Internet Banking system)

TENDENCY Package consists of the most popular international banking card and a set of additional services:

Bank account
1 monthly account statement
VISA Classic/ MasterCard Standard
BSGV Direct (Internet Banking system)
1 free additional bank account in RUB/USD/EUR
1 free Stand-by order application registration
20% discount of standard Safe boxes tariffs

PRESTIGE Package - privileged banking services and special offers from Bank’s partners

Bank account
1 monthly account statement
VISA Gold/ MasterCard Gold
BSGV Direct (Internet Banking system)
2 free additional bank accounts in RUB/USD/EUR
3 free Stand-by orders application registrations
50% discount of standard Safe boxes tariffs
Travel insurance
Discount programmes

PREMIUM Package - is a premium offer with an extended set of banking services and special benefits from our partners.

Bank account
1 monthly account statement
Account certificate
MasterCard Platinum
BSGV Direct (Internet Banking system)
4 free additional bank accounts in RUB/USD/EUR/GBP/CHF
3 free Stand-by orders application registrations
SMS-informing
Emergency cash withdrawal and card replacement in case the card is lost or stolen abroad (through MasterCard Global Service Center (GSC))
50% discount of standard Safe boxes tariffs
Extended travel insurance
Priority Pass card
MasterCard IZBRANNOYE privileges program
Additional special benefits from partners



How easy it is to transfer money off-shore from Raiffeisen or SocGen - one of the things that attracted me to HSBC was that it was integrated and simple no-questions-asked process to transfer money around.

BrandonL
04-05-2011, 12:35
I love Credit Europe!
Best banking experience I've ever had(outside of America that is)

RRM
05-05-2011, 09:49
Unicredit is really lousy. The amount of effort one has to put into entering all the pin numbers etc, scratching the cards for a new number etc to make a sinple transfer just makes it so confusing and annoying. Raiffeisen was the best I had experienced here. I closed my account recently because I bank with HSBC in the other countries and to wire money between HSBC accounts worldwide has no commission charges. I am disapointed at the news that HSBC is closing down here. I might have to go back to Raiffeisen again. Never Unicredit.

DavidB
25-05-2011, 16:43
Unicredit is really lousy. The amount of effort one has to put into entering all the pin numbers etc, scratching the cards for a new number etc to make a sinple transfer just makes it so confusing and annoying. Raiffeisen was the best I had experienced here. I closed my account recently because I bank with HSBC in the other countries and to wire money between HSBC accounts worldwide has no commission charges. I am disapointed at the news that HSBC is closing down here. I might have to go back to Raiffeisen again. Never Unicredit.

UniCredit does have a scratch card system for payments and transfers, but I don't see what the problem with that is? Most banks have some kind of 2-factor security such as scratch cards, tokens or SMS authentication.

For regular payments like mobile phone, internet, utilities, etc. in Russia, you should be using a service like Yandex.Money. It's commission-free and much better than any bank system.

PeterAllen999
20-06-2011, 16:24
I have heard decent things about both of Citi and Raifeissenbank?

Cheyenne
30-06-2011, 09:34
Can anyone tell me why "international" banks like Raffeisen and UniCredit require translated and notarized copies of your passport? Is it really so tough to check to see that the name and birthdate are the same? Oof...

FatAndy
30-06-2011, 09:38
Because they're "international", not international ;).
It is not tough, it is local law and banking rules.

Can anyone tell me why "international" banks like Raffeisen and UniCredit require translated and notarized copies of your passport? Is it really so tough to check to see that the name and birthdate are the same? Oof...

muddyleopard
30-06-2011, 12:03
I'm with Alfa Bank and not had any problems so far.

roamingnomad
23-07-2011, 23:13
I've been with Unicredit for nearly 5 months and have had no problems with either my RUB, GBP or USD accounts with them.

Talim
06-08-2011, 22:37
Raiffeisen is the best from my experience (I had Sberbank, VTB, Raiffeisen, Unicredit, Alfa and even PrivatBank), but its Internet-bank is a little bit too involved and if you lose a certain file you have to visit a branch to get a new password (you still can access internet banking, you just can't make payments).
Unicredit is really nice, it is cheaper, but it is true, you have to scratch a special card in order to make any payment via Internet banking, it's annoying sometimes. And there are not so many UniCredit ATMs in Moscow.
I wouldn't recommend Alfa, it is somewhat expensive for what it offers.

Sberbank is awful, BUT it has like a million of ATMs :-)

Russian Lad
10-08-2011, 01:36
Alfa is probably the best. Citibank and Reiffeisen - better run away from those two.

jimmi1977
26-08-2011, 17:28
I am basically looking for a bank that has branches in Moscow and Toronto.

Any ideas?

kapione
02-10-2011, 19:42
I have been with MKB 3 years, I am quite satisfied ....bring a translated copy of your passport, and a legal copy with a Notary stamp, and go to the Sukarevskaya Metro(main office) they have English speaking workers there

malta
07-10-2011, 01:16
Because they're "international", not international ;).

All "international banks" working in Russia are in fact registered here as Russian legal entities and they follow the Russian laws. To begin with, the national language in Russia is Russian.

You can use several banks for different purposes.
Sberbank issues Momentum card at no cost and it takes 5 minutes. This card is good for utilities payment via an ATM or internet, and for cash exchange with friends when you need it.

Alfa Bank has advanced by Russian standards internet banking and mobile banking and is constantly working on their improvement, occasionally they have good deposit rates. They hold regular customer polls so clients' opinion is important for them. An international transfer used to be a problem with a lot of paperwork but this seems to have improved in the recent times.

Citibank is often criticized and some reasons are listed in the thread, their internet banking is not advanced and there are queues in the branches, but you can adjust yourself to using them.

While none is perfect on its own, as a client of 3 you can get an optimal set of services. :-)