Financial data revealed by Hetq.am shows that the 17 commercial banks operating in the country reported a record 256 billion drams ($640 million) in combined earnings after attracting large amounts of money from Russia.
According to the Armenian Central Bank, individual remittances from Russia quadrupled to almost $3.2 billion in January-November 2022. They accounted for just over two-thirds of total remittance inflows to Armenia.
Much of that money is thought to have been deposited in local banks by tens of thousands of Russians who relocated to the South Caucasus country after the outbreak of the war in Ukraine.
The banks have significantly raised fees charged by them for wire transfers, opening of accounts and other services. Armenian government data shows that the total value of financial services provided in the country rose by almost 50 percent in the eleven-month period.
The banks appear to have also benefited from a near doubling of Armenia’s trade with Russia registered by the government. Armenia’s exports to Russia almost tripled to just over $2 billion, suggesting that local entrepreneurs took advantage of Western economic sanctions against Moscow.
The increased trade with and remittances from Russia are also the main reason why the Armenian economy was projected to grow by 12 percent in 2022.