The growth of banking assets in
Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) slowed in 2008 but still rose by
some 25 percent to stand at €1.77 trillion ($2.47 trillion) by 31
December, the annual CEE Banking Sector Report from Austria’s RZB
has shown.

But the report predicted an outright
decline in total banking assets in 2009 as the economic crisis
takes a firmer hold on the region. Loan to deposit ratios rose to
an average of 83 percent in 2008, the report noted, with most
countries’ ratios matching or exceeding 90 percent – similar to
ratios seen in the Eurozone.

The top five banks in the CEE by assets
remained the same, with Sberbank (8.9 percent of total banking
assets) ahead of UniCredit (6 percent), Raiffeisen International
(4.7 percent), Erste (4.4 percent) and Société Générale (3.7