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.


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.

CoinDesk - Unknown

Sandali Handagama is a CoinDesk reporter with a focus on crypto regulation and policy. She does not own any crypto.

Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk’s longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to to register and buy your pass now.