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The Bank of Cyprus in Nicosia, Cyprus. (Wikipedia/Petros3)
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The Bank of Cyprus, the biggest Cypriot bank, closed its representative offices in Moscow and St. Petersburg on Jan. 22, data posted by the Central Bank of Russia revealed.

This is the second and third representative office of a foreign bank that has been closed in Russia since the beginning of 2024. Their total number in the country has decreased to 23.

Representative offices of foreign banks are not independent legal entities and are not authorized to conduct banking operations. They act as separate subdivisions representing the interests of a credit organization.

At the beginning of 2022, 37 foreign credit organizations were registered as accredited representative offices in Russia. After the Russian full-scale invasion of Ukraine, nine were shut down in 2022 and three in 2023. Only one new representative office was opened during this time: Kyrgyzstan's Aiyl Bank.

According to Raiffeisenbank International data cited by Bloomberg, the assets of foreign credit organizations in Russia have shrunk to $66 billion by the end of 2023. This is twice less than in 2021 ($119 billion) and almost four times less than in 2012 ($239 billion).

Media: Sanctions forcing Russian companies out of Cyprus
Russian companies have been increasingly leaving Cyprus as Western sanctions impact their ability to operate, the Russian state-controlled media outlet Kommersant wrote on Jan. 16.
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