Sberbank, Russia’s largest lender, is leaving the European market as significant liquidity is withdrawn from European subsidiaries and its employees and assets are threatened, the bank said Wednesday. Reuters.
The bank, which is due to release its financial results for 2021, has stated that it will not be able to provide cash flow to European subsidiaries following a central bank order, but that its capital position and asset quality will be sufficient to pay all depositors.
“Under the current circumstances, Sberbank has decided to leave the European market,” the statement said. “The group’s subsidiary banks are facing extraordinary cash flows and threats to the safety of employees and subsidiaries.”
Unprecedented measures taken by Western countries to isolate Russia’s economy and financial system from the occupation of Ukraine include sanctions on the central bank and the exclusion of some lenders from the global Swift payment system.
The European Central Bank has already ordered the closure of Sberbank’s European subsidiary, following warnings that it would fail due to the outflow of depositors as a result of the invasion.
Sberbank, which operates in Austria, Croatia, Germany and Hungary, had European assets worth € 13 billion as at 31 December 2020.
The bank’s exit will not affect its operations in Switzerland.
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