Falling oil prices, economic sanctions and the weakening ruble have all taken their toll on Russia's financial industry, causing profits in this sector to shrink by a staggering US$ 12 billion in 2014. While the largest banks are reeving financial support from the Central Bank, a number of smaller banks were forced to merge or terminate their operations completely. Unfortunately, Russia's economy is projected to remain sluggish over the coming years, and the level of bad loans is expected to increase. As a result, foreign banks are expected to look elsewhere for profitable markets.
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