Russia’s largest Sberbank donor launches smart TV to compensate for severe Western sanctions

Russia’s major lender Sberbank, which has jeopardized international operations over Western sanctions against Moscow over Ukraine’s events, unveiled a series of smart TVs on Tuesday, the latest addition to its technology arsenal.

Sberbank is developing its own non-financial businesses, such as e-commerce, technology and cloud services, in an attempt to reduce margins, but seems to be determined to pursue a process, even if it closes sanctions elsewhere.

The lender left almost all European markets earlier this month, citing large outflows and threats to workers and goods, a move that seemed inevitable after the European Central Bank ordered its European arm to close.

In partnership with electronics retailer M.Video, Sberbank has started selling TVs that use the bank’s virtual assistant software and provide services such as online streaming and food delivery from its digital ecosystem.

Sberbank does not disclose how much it spends on technology, but the bank has previously told Reuters that it has invested heavily and has increased since it changed its strategy to focus more on technology devices and solutions.

The majority of Russian government-owned Sberbank shares have fallen in price since Russia launched a “special military operation” in Ukraine, and Western nations have imposed unprecedented sanctions on Russia’s financial sector.

© Thomson Reuters 2022

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