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Russia’s Sberbank may seek redress against Volksbank

Russia-based lender Sberbank is considering taking action against Austria’s retail bank, Volksbank, over poor assets quality pertaining to a network of east European businesses, which it purchased in a deal valued at €500m.

Sberbank chief executive German Gref was quoted by the Financial Times as saying that the bank does have certain issues with the asset quality bought from Volksbank, compared with what was originally declared.

"We anticipate having to have serious conversations with the auditors as well as with the bank," Gref added.

The lender said that it is planning to act against Volksbank auditor KPMG over the faulty assessment of the acquired business Volksbank International, which is being renamed as Sberbank from this month.

Sberbank has already infused a total of €1bn in the acquired business and is planning to expand that platform into Western Europe, which might take several years.

"For the next two years at least, we don’t envisage any significant commercial opportunities," Gref commented.

Founded in 1841, Sberbank offers banking services to individuals and all types of corporate clients including big, small and medium-sized businesses as well as state-owned, sub-federal units and municipalities.