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March 21, 2022

Bahamas’ financial institutions hold $3bn Russian assets

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The Central Bank of The Bahamas has revealed that the country’s financial institutions hold assets worth nearly $3bn that are connected to Russia. 

As of 28 February 2022, banks and trust companies in the Caribbean nation held “approximately $420m in deposits and $2.5bn in custody or trust assets with ultimate beneficial owners from or connected to Russia,” the regulator’s statement read. 

A major portion of the Russian exposure comes from the international sector, the central bank said.

Additionally, it is working to find out domestic financial institutions’ exposure to Russia. 

Earlier this month, the Group of Financial Services Regulators of The Bahamas barred financial institutions in the country from doing business with sanctioned entities and persons of Russia and Belarus.

In doing so, the Caribbean nation joined the US and its NATO allies who have imposed severe financial sanctions targeting Russia’s economy and elites in response to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

The sanctions have impacted global markets and have left Western firms with Russian exposure scrambling for cover. 

Last week, Austrian lender Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI) revealed that it could pull the plug on its operations in Russia. 

Italian banking major UniCredit and US banking group Citi are also weighing similar options.

France’s Societe Generale, which has nearly $20bn exposure to Russia, has also warned that it could be stripped of property rights to its Russian banking operations.

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