The Austrian banking group Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI) has begun considering the sale or spin-off of Russia’s Raiffeisenbank. The group as a whole promises to reduce its business activity in Russia.
This was stated by CEO Johann Strobl at the annual general meeting of shareholders of the banking group on Thursday, March 30.
According to Reuters, the bank will continue to reduce its business in Russia, but will retain some banking businesses and a banking license.
We have decided to consider potential agreements leading to the sale or withdrawal of Russian Raiffeisenbank from the RBI group, in full compliance with local and international laws and regulations, as well as in dialogue with the relevant competent authorities, Strobl said.
Last week, Reuters published an article in which several anonymous sources familiar with the state of affairs at the bank say that after concerns expressed by the United States, the European Central Bank began to pressure Raiffeisen Bank International to move its business out of Russia.
Raiffeisenbank plays a key role in the Russian economy, accounting for about a quarter of all euro transfers into the country, but its operations are raising questions as Russia’s war against Ukraine drags on.
We have asked banks to continue to closely monitor business in Russia and, ideally, to scale back and wind down as much as possible, an ECB spokesman told the agency last week.
The Austrian group’s statement came amid systemic pressure and criticism from investors and the European Central Bank. Western media wrote that the US sanctions body is already checking Raiffeisen Bank International because of its representative office in Russia.
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