More than 40 Western banks cannot leave the Russian market on acceptable terms due to the decree of Russian President Putin. It stipulates that any agreements on the sale or purchase of banks require the approval of the authorities.
Those banks that are still trying to negotiate an exit from the Russian Federation fear that their Russian assets will be acquired very cheaply by Kremlin-controlled oligarchs.
“There are certain very influential Russians with close ties to the Kremlin who are trying to use their influence to intercept the assets of the fleeing foreigners,” the source said.
They also demand very serious discounts from banks. One of the conditions for leaving the Russian market is to sell at a discount of at least 50%.
According to the publication, 45 banks from so-called “unfriendly” countries still operate in Russia. Among them are the Austrian Raiffeisen Bank International, the Italian UniCredit, and the American Citigroup.
So far, the only example of a successful withdrawal of a foreign bank after the start of the invasion was the sale of Rosbank by the Societe Generale group. Back in April, she managed to reach an agreement with oligarch Volodymyr Potanin, who owned the bank in 2006-2011.
The British bank HSBC, which has already agreed on the sale of the Russian “daughter” Expobank, is waiting for the buyer to agree with the Kremlin. Citigroup decided to simply close down the business. UniCredit is exploring options, but does not want to simply give its assets to the Russians. Raiffeisenʼs plans are currently unknown.
January 17, 2023 Published by The Financial Times.