Raiffeisenbank postpones exit from Russia. It hopes the war will end sooner-Reuters


Raiffeisen Bank International is trying to find a way to stay in Russia so as not to risk longstanding Austrian-Russian relations. Austria hopes the war will end sooner, Reuters reports.

Raiffeisenbank postpones exit from Russia. It hopes the war will end sooner-Reuters
Austrian group Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI) is postponing its exit from Russia in the hope that the war in Ukraine will end soon. This was reported by Reuters on 6 July, citing three sources familiar with the bank's position, DW reported.

RBI, the largest Western bank in Russia, had intended to end its Russian business by September under pressure from European regulators. However, according to Reuters, the group has yet to submit a plan for exiting the Russian market to European Central Bank regulators, casting doubt on the bank's ability to exit by September.

In addition, officially backing Ukraine, Austria opposes the move as authorities believe the RBI is being unfairly pressured to demonstrate the West's determination to isolate Moscow.

Russia also does not want RBI to leave because the bank's Russian branch is one of the few major banks not subject to Western sanctions, allowing it to conduct foreign exchange transactions without restrictions. Overall, the bank remains one of the few credit institutions in Russia that conducts remittances via SWIFT. The Financial Times, citing the bank's manager, reports that the organisation accounts for 40-50% of all payments between Russia and the rest of the world.

"Meanwhile, RBI has been forced to hand over information on Russian transactions to the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the US Treasury Department due to pressure from Washington. This data is currently being analysed, looking for possible sanctions violations," the statement said.

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