Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic and Uzbekistan are neighbouring countries in post-Soviet Central Asia which share similar culture and language. Their economic structures were similar under central planning: they provided the agricultural basis to the Soviet economy. But, since independence, these economies have grown structurally more heterogeneous due to variations in the implementation of market-oriented reforms, the degree of integration into the global economy and natural resource endowment. This article attempts to demonstrate how this heterogeneity can explain the differing effects of the recent Global Financial Crisis on these countries' economies in general and in the banking sector in particular. © 2013 Copyright University of Glasgow.