Skip to content
Edit post

Reuters: Raiffeisen delays exit from Russia as Austria protects ties

by Martin Fornusek and The Kyiv Independent news desk July 6, 2023 4:19 PM 2 min read
Raiffeisen Bank
The logo of Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI) is pictured above the entrance of the bank's headquarters building on Feb. 1, 2023 in Vienna, Austria. (Photo: Heinz-Peter Bader/Getty Images)
This audio is created with AI assistance

Support independent journalism in Ukraine. Join us in this fight.

Become a member Support us just once

Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI) is delaying its pullback from Russia as Austria wants to safeguard its long-standing ties with Moscow, Reuters reported on July 6, citing three undisclosed sources.

According to the news agency, Austria and RBI are resisting the pressure to leave Russia in hopes that the invasion of Ukraine will end soon.

Some officials in Vienna are reportedly averse to cutting decades of relationship-building with Moscow. They hope the ties can be restored after the war, despite Austria's public support of Ukraine, the sources told Reuters.

The Vienna-based bank group, the largest remaining Western bank in Russia, has come under increased pressure to exit the country.

On Feb. 18, Reuters reported that the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) was investigating Raiffeisen for its activities in Russia. The European Central Bank (ECB) urged Raiffeisen on March 24 to devise an exit strategy for selling or shutting down the group's Russia branch of operations.

According to Reuters, RBI has not yet outlined its plan to the ECB and wants to wait for the approval of the European authority before asking its shareholders for shuttering Russia operations, making the exit unlikely before September.

Raiffeisen also needs the approval of the Russian government and its central bank before it can make the move, Reuters wrote. According to the news agency's sources, Moscow hopes for the Raiffeisen to stay as it enables international payments.

As Austria's second-largest bank lender, Raiffeisen plays a significant role in Russia's financial system and is one of only two foreign banks classified as "systemically important" by the Russian central bank.

This underscores the bank's importance to the Russian economy, particularly in the face of extensive Western sanctions. Despite the full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Raiffeisen has continued to operate in Russia.

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.

A year into full-scale invasion, West struggles to seize Russian assets for Ukraine
Hundreds of potential international investors met with top Ukrainian and Western officials in London in late June to discuss how to rebuild the country, ravaged by Russia’s war. Those attending the Ukraine Recovery Conference (URC) were unanimous — Russia should foot the bill. Said bill is devast…
Before you skip this banner, we want to tell you something…

The Kyiv Independent doesn’t depend on a wealthy owner or an oligarch — in 2023, 80% of our revenue was from reader contributions . It’s thanks to them that we don’t have to rely on a single owner.

Support us now and help maintain our independent model and keep our articles free for everyone. Your contributions allow us to cover journalists’ salaries, report from the front lines, and fund projects like our War Crimes Investigations Unit.

visa masterCard americanExpress

News Feed

12:28 AM

Exclusive: Nepali POW questioned by Ukrainian authorities

The Kyiv Independent has obtained footage of Ukrainian authorities questioning a Nepali prisoner of war captured when he was fighting for Russia in Ukraine. The footage was obtained from intelligence sources. The Kyiv Independent edited it for brevity.
Ukraine Daily
News from Ukraine in your inbox
Ukraine news
Please, enter correct email address
MORE NEWS

Editors' Picks

Enter your email to subscribe
Please, enter correct email address
Subscribe
* indicates required
* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required
* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required

Subscribe

* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required

Subscribe

* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required

Subscribe

* indicates required
Successfuly subscribed
Thank you for signing up for this newsletter. We’ve sent you a confirmation email.