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Garry Poluschkin

The Ukrainian banking sector
in times of Covid-19

Ukraine’s banking sector reforms, which started in 2015, clearly paid off during COVID-19. The increased resilience ensured that the economic crisis related to the pandemic has not spilled over to the financial sec-tor.

  • Ukraine
NL 157 | November 2021
Financial Markets

As a result, banking penetration increased in Ukraine, but remains far below that of peers. Assets are mainly concentrated in state-owned banks which account for four of the Top-5 banks. Currently, they hold less than half of net assets compared to 55% in 2019 indicating a much-welcome decline in the state share within the sector.

The pandemic did not put pressure on NPLs, as many observers expected. On the contrary, a strong decline of the non-performing loan (NPL) share in the sector from 58% in June 2017 to 33% in September 2021 was recorded. After stress tests were postponed in 2020 due to the pandemic, the recent one conducted in autumn 2021 showed that the sector is overall stable, with a solid and rising capital adequacy ratio, which is high even in international comparison. Beyond the pandemic, increasing demand and international com-petition in digital finance is a challenge for the sector. Successful forerunners demonstrate how to deal with the transformation.

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