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American banking group Citi has revealed that it could lose billions of dollars at its Russian business as the geopolitical tensions mount after Russia invaded Ukraine, Reuters has reported. 

Earlier this week, Citi revealed that at the end of 2021, its exposure to Russia stood at nearly $10bn, where it operates both retail and investment banking units. 

Speaking at the bank’s investor day, Citi CFO Mark Mason said: “We have been working very closely with our risk management to run various scenarios as to what that exposure could mean under different stress scenarios.

“Looking at a severe stress scenario that number, on the high end, could be a little less than half of that exposure but it could also be a lot less than that depending on how the situation evolves.”

The bank is working to reduce its exposure to the Russian markets via hedging and other means, Mason added.

Notably, Citi has been trying to sell its retail operations in Russia and VTB Bank, which is facing sanctions from the US and its allies, had been the only bidder for Citi’s assets.

The sanctions could complicate the deal, but Citi CEO Jane Fraser said it is “too early to tell” how things will play out.

Fraser also revealed that the bank is helping the Ukrainian staff who wish to leave the country or stay, by providing them facilities such as advance pay, emergency and medical supplies.