(Reuters) - Civil unrest in Ukraine has put pressure on its banks which could need liquidity and capital support due to falling deposits, a high level of non-performing loans and a depreciating currency.
More than 5 percent of bank deposits, worth over $3 billion (1 billion pounds), may have been withdrawn this year, non-performing loans are running at more than 40 percent and banks have lost money through the hryvnia's depreciation, the Institute of International Finance (IIF) said in a paper this week.
Ukraine is also trying to track international bank accounts and assets controlled by ousted President Yanukovich and his allies, accused by the country's new leadership of stealing billions of dollars.
Most of Ukraine's major banks are state- or locally-owned.
Russia's banks are the biggest overseas lenders to Ukraine and account for 12 percent of the sector with about $28 billion of exposure, including Sberbank, VEB and VTB.
Other foreign lenders had cut their exposure to 20 percent of Ukraine's banking assets by 2012, half their share in 2008, Raiffeisen Research estimated.
Austrian banks are the next biggest lenders to Ukraine with exposure of $7 billion, its central bank said. Individual bank totals could be higher due to how local units are financed.
Overseas banks had $27.4 billion in loans to Ukraine at the end of September, according to the Bank for International Settlements, whose figures cover 15 major countries, excluding Russia and Austria. It said banks in Italy had $5.9 billion of loans, followed by France ($5.3 billion), the United States ($1.5 billion), Greece ($1.5 billion), Germany ($1 billion) and Switzerland ($704 million).
Some European banks have pulled out of Ukraine since 2008, including Commerzbank, Erste Bank and Swedbank.
Austria's Raiffeisen and Italy's Unicredit are among the top 10 lenders in the country.
Russia's biggest bank has temporarily stopped new lending in Ukraine but said it would still extend credit to large enterprises in sound financial condition. It has 221 branches there.
Sberbank had exposure of $4 billion to Ukraine - or less than 1 percent of its balance sheet - at the end of September. CEO German Gref said in December the bank would be able to absorb losses in the country.
Russia's second biggest bank has said it will halt new lending in Ukraine.
It said its exposure is $560 million, largely through big private companies, some of which are exporters.
The Russian state development bank in December said its loan exposure to Ukraine was nearly $4 billion, mostly through its subsidiary Prominvestbank. It said this week it had no plans to exit Prominvestbank and was providing the bank with necessary liquidity support.
The Hungarian bank said on February 19 that devaluation of the hryvnia was "a predictable and managed risk." It said six of its 140 branches were closed due to civil unrest.
RAIFFEISEN BANK INTERNATIONAL
The Austrian lender said it is the fourth biggest bank in Ukraine by loans, with 3 million customers and 818 business outlets.
The business was up for sale, and a spokeswoman said two or three companies had conducted due diligence. She declined further comment on the possible sale and the situation in the country.
RBI said it had Ukraine credit exposure of 5.8 billion euros ($7.9 billion) at the end of September, or 3.5 percent of its group. It said its Ukraine business had 3.6 billion euros of customer loans (54 percent corporate, 46 percent retail) and 2.7 billion in customer deposits.
UniCredit said its exposure in Ukraine was 2.3 billion euros at the end of September, through its Bank Austria arm.
Poland's biggest bank, state-controlled PKO BP, owns mid-sized Kredobank in Ukraine. It said the business was operating normally and the business was viewed "as a stable and credible financial institution".
Another Polish bank, owned by billionaire Leszek Czarnecki, owns Idea Bank Ukraina, a small bank in Ukraine.
France's BNP Paribas owns around 85 percent of UkrSibbank, which was founded in Kharkiv in 1990, with the EBRD holding 15 percent. The bank had about $3 billion in assets at the end of June.
France's Credit Agricole said that its Ukrainian branch is worth 150 million euros of its 1.5 trillion euro balance sheet. Loans outstanding amount to 1 billion euros, mostly in agriculture.
($1 = 0.7317 euros)
(Compiled by Reuters reporters; Editing by Jon Boyle)