Russian lender Sberbank has partnered with oil and gas company LUKOIL Group to develop business credit cards for entrepreneurs and legal entities.

LUKOIL is said to be the bank’s first partner for developing additional business card services. The new cards will be designed to allow purchase of several petroleum products.

Statistics reveal more than RUB600m ($9.65m) spent per month on Sberbank business cards used by nearly 160,000 companies to pay for fuel.

Of the total companies, 25% are reported to avail services of LUKOIL’s petrol stations. Last year, LUKOIL sold more than ten million tonnes of petroleum products at its stations across Russia.

Sberbank deputy chairman of executive board Anatoly Popov said: “LUKOIL and Sberbank are long-standing strategic partners, and we highly value our long term cooperation with one of the leading gas and oil companies. We hope that our interaction in this new area will become an important step towards broadening joint projects related to banking products.

“The new stage of cooperation between our companies will let individual entrepreneurs and legal entities purchase large volumes of petroleum products, whilst excluding cases of so-called cash deficiency, i.e. lack of money to repay current obligations.”