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The US has decided to take on European banks operating in Russia

May 27, 2024

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has warned European banks that they are taking a big risk by continuing to operate in Russia.

According to a Reuters report, she said that the US is considering strengthening secondary banking sanctions.

"We are looking at potentially toughening our sanctions against banks doing business in Russia," Yellen said, declining to go into details. Yellen noted that banking sanctions will be imposed only if there is a reason for them. "But doing business in Russia poses a very high risk," she added.

When asked directly about Austria's Raiffeisen Bank International and Italy's UniCredit (the largest European banks present in Russia), she replied: "As far as I know, their regulator has advised them to be very careful in their work there."

As reported, in mid-December 2023, the NACP suspended the status of RBI, the parent structure of Ukraine's Raiffeisen Bank, as an international war sponsor for the period of bilateral consultations involving representatives of the European Commission.

According to the NBU, as of October 1, 2023, Raiffeisen Bank ranked 4th in terms of assets (UAH 196.35 billion) among 63 banks operating in the country. Its net profit for January-September 2023 amounted to UAH 6.14 billion.

In October 2005, the bank became part of the Austrian banking group RBI. Currently, Raiffeisen Group owns 68.21% of the bank's shares, while the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development owns 30%.

On May 3, 2024, it became known that the Austrian Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI) group will begin the procedure for exiting the Russian market in the third quarter of 2024.

Author - Ihor Lontkivskyi 27.05.24

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