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Reuters: US sanctions authority examining Austrian bank's ties to Russia
Reuters reported on Feb. 18 that the Austrian bank Raiffeisen is being investigated by the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) for its activities in Russia.
Representatives from the bank confirmed to Reuters that the OFAC had contacted it in January 2023 to seek clarification on its payments business and related processes, in light of the ongoing war in Ukraine.
The OFAC requested a reply by February 2023 but the bank's lawyers have negotiated a push back, with information tranches to be sent in early April, May, and June.
Raiffeisen, the second-largest bank lender in Austria, is highly involved in Russia's financial system and is among just two foreign banks considered "systemically important" by the Russian central bank, emphasizing its significance to Russia's economy amid extensive Western sanctions. The bank has continued doing business in Russia following the start of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.
The bank's 3.8 billion euros net profit last year included 2 billion euros from Russia, and Russians have put more than 20 billion euros with the bank.
The bank said in its statement to Reuters that it is cooperating fully with the OFAC.