Top Russian Bank Quits Europe, Citing Sanctions: Report

The European Central Bank had ordered the closure of Sberbank's European unit over Ukraine conflict.

AccessTimeIconMar 2, 2022 at 12:55 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 7:18 p.m. UTC

Sberbank, one of Russia's largest state-controlled banks, is dropping out of almost all European markets citing Western sanctions following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Reuters reported Wednesday.

  • According to the report, the bank suffered large outflows of cash and threats to its staff and property.
  • On Tuesday, the European Central Bank (ECB) ordered the closure of Sberbank's European unit after a run on deposits following Russia's invasion of Ukraine last week.
  • Sberbank's European assets were valued at 13 billion euros ($14.4 billion) at the end of 2020, according to the report. The bank operated in several European countries, including Austria, Croatia, Germany and Hungary.
  • Sberbank has used blockchain technology for banking, launching numerous initiatives over the last few years. In January 2021, it filed to launch its own stablecoin, a private cryptocurrency linked to the value of real assets like the U.S. dollar.
  • The European Union said Wednesday it banned seven Russian banks from the international financial messaging system SWIFT as a result of the military operations in Ukraine. The union has planned a historic support package for Ukraine, which includes 450 million euros worth of lethal weapons to aid Ukraine as it stands against Russia.


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Sandali Handagama

Sandali Handagama is CoinDesk's deputy managing editor for policy and regulations, EMEA. She does not own any crypto.