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Regulators have decided to wind down and sell the European operations of leading Russian lender Sberbank as the crisis in Ukraine worsens.
The news comes after the European Central Bank (ECB) said that Sberbank Europe AG and two of its subsidiaries — Sberbank d.d. in Croatia and Sberbank Banka d.d. in Slovenia – are likely to fail as the conflict had impacted their liquidity position.
ECB’s Single Resolution Board (SRB) has announced that all the shares of Sberbank d.d. in Croatia will be sold to Hrvatska Poštanska Banka d.d. (Croatian Postbank).
Nova ljubljanska banka d.d. (NLB d.d.) will take over all the assets of Sberbank Banka d.d. in Slovenia.
SRB said that Sberbank’s Croatian and Slovenian units will resume operation on 2 March 2022 “as normal with no disruption to depositors or clients. They are now part of well-established, robust and stable banking groups.”
For Sberbank Europe AG, SRB has decided to go ahead with insolvency proceedings as per the Austrian law. Deposits up to €100,000 in the Austrian arm are covered by the Austrian deposit guarantee system.
In a separate statement, the European Commission revealed that Czech authorities have decided to close and wind down the Czech subsidiary.
Similar to the Austrian arm, its depositors will be eligible for compensation of up to €100,000.
The US and its allies have imposed several sanctions targeting Russia’s financial system in response to its invasion of Ukraine. The impact of sanctions can be felt across the global markets.
The ECB has been keeping a close watch on banks with substantial Russian exposure that includes Austrian lender Raiffeisen Bank International and the European units of Russia’s VTB Bank.