Siberian Bank of Sberbank, Russia’s largest bank, in July issued sharply more credit cards than during the same month a year ago, the bank told PaymentsSource.

The bank issued 5,000 new credit cards in July, up 316% compared with 1,200 during July 2009, a bank spokesperson says.

Credit cards are becoming increasingly popular within the bank’s coverage area that includes the Novosibirsk, Tomsk, and Kemerovo regions, according to a bank spokesperson.

“Our new Sochi (Visa Inc.) Olympics design (for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia) is particularly popular with our customers,” he says. Siberian Bank of Sberbank  issues both Visa and MasterCard Worldwide-branded cards.

Siberian Bank of Sberbank, based in Novosibirsk, has 14 million customers; 35,000 are corporate clients. The bank, which began issuing cards to its own customers a decade ago and to nonbank customers beginning last May, has issued some 50,000 credit cards to date, the spokesperson says.

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