The main purpose of this paper is to test the efficiency of the risk-taking channel in the Russian economy. The existence of this channel may be an additional argument for the Bank of Russia’s cautious policy regarding changes in the key rate, since its sharp decline may cause financial instability, as banks reallocate their funds to riskier higher- yield assets. Z-score and the level of non-performing loans calculated according to the quarterly financial statements of credit institutions have been selected as a measure of risk. Econometric analysis revealed a shift toward riskier operations in response to a decrease in key and market interest rates. It also confirmed the hypothesis that the risk- taking channel is less effective for large banks.