In this article the economic substance of the state-owned banks in Russia was concretized, their role in the national banking system was researched. There were identified the specific functions, performed by these banks. There was determined, the state participation in the national banking system was significant. But there was noted a gradual reduction of its share in the authorized capitals. There was detected the tendency to decline the influence of the group of state-owned banks in the results of the financial activity in the Russian banking sector as a whole.