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HSBC bank delays sale of Russian subsidiary

by Nate Ostiller and The Kyiv Independent news desk October 30, 2023 10:31 PM 2 min read
The HSBC logo is displayed outside a branch of the bank on Jan. 2, 2023, in Wells, England. (Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
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London-based HSBC bank will delay the planned sale of its Russian subsidiary until the first half of 2024, the bank said in its third quarter 2023 earnings statement released on Oct. 30.

The sale was originally announced in June 2022, but the statement said that the "transaction is subject to governmental approvals," delaying its completion.

The bank noted that a $0.3 billion loss on the planned sale was expected.

HSBC announced it was in talks in July 2022 to sell its subsidiary to Expobank, a privately owned Russian bank. The sale was going to represent the company's "formal exit from Russia," Reuters reported at the time.

Even as HSBC has remained in Russia pending the completion of the sale, it has tightened restrictions on Russian customers.

Payments from business customers to and from Russia and Belarus were stopped, the Japanese news outlet Nikkei reported on Sept. 8. The restrictions were expected to go into place later in October.

Although many international banks pulled out of Russia after the beginning of the full-scale invasion, some have continued to operate or delayed their exit.

Vienna-based Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI), the largest remaining Western bank in Russia, has resisted pressure to leave the country in hopes that the invasion of Ukraine will end soon, according to a Reuters report on July 6, 2023.

In 2022, the bank generated a net profit of $4.1 billion, with $2.2 billion of that coming from Russia alone. Russians have entrusted more than $22 billion to the bank.

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