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Which Russian banks were sanctioned in 2022? Full list

Which Russian banks were sanctioned in 2022? Full list

In 2022, about twenty Russian banks came under restrictions from the US, UK, EU, Japan, and Australia. Many of them were disconnected from the international SWIFT transfer system, others faced less significant sanctions. We bring to your attention a complete list of Russian banks that fell under sanctions in 2022. It is worth noting that sanctioned banks, the list of which is presented below, account for 80% of Russia's banking assets. 

List of banks subject to sanctions in 2022

List of Russian banks subject to sanctionsDisconnecting a bank from SWIFTBlocking sanctions and countries that have adopted them (listing SDN)Other sanctions and countries that have adopted them
Sberbank+USA, UKJapan
Alfa Bank-United StatesEU, UK, Japan
VTB+United StatesEU
VEB+United StatesEU
bank Russia+American blocking sanctionsEU
GazprombankBan on raising funds through US debt issuance, UK sanctions 
Rosselkhozbank+United StatesUSA, UK, EU
Opening+United StatesUSA, UK, EU
Novikombank+American blocking sanctions
Far Eastern BankUS sanctions
Moscow Industrial BankAmerican blocking sanctions
PromsvyazbankEU and US sanctions
InvesttorgbankAmerican blocking sanctions
Moscow credit bankUK sanctions
Ural Bank for Reconstruction and DevelopmentUK sanctions
SMP bankUK sanctions
Sovcombank+blocking sanctions from the United States
TranscapitalbankUnited States blocking sanctions

What threaten banks with sectoral sanctions

The very name of these sanctions “sectoral” explains their focus. They are aimed at certain sectors of the economy and restrict some of the activities of banks abroad. Institutions subject to sectoral sanctions are included in the SSI lists. Against them, restrictions are introduced on transactions with new shares and debt obligations. At the same time, banks still have the opportunity to work with American financial institutions, and their assets are not frozen. The list of banks that fall under this type of restrictions is not so long.

EU sectoral sanctions imply:

A ban on attracting financing, as well as obtaining loans from EU banks;
A ban on the provision of investment services and assistance in the issuance of money market instruments, as well as transferable securities.
The impact of sectoral sanctions on clients is minimal. Entrepreneurs who have accounts in such structures will still be able to pay foreign counterparties and make transactions in foreign currency. Some Russian banks have been under sectoral sanctions since 2014 without their clients even knowing it.

What blocking sanctions mean for Russian banks

Since February 26, a whole list of Russia's largest banks has come under US blocking sanctions. With each new package of sanctions, other Russian financial institutions are added to this list. Blocking sanctions mean a complete ban on any financial transactions and transactions, as well as the freezing of assets. As a result, such banks are practically isolated from the global financial system.

If a bank is included in the SDN list, then this definition means falling under US blocking sanctions. Such banks will not be able to work with the American financial system. Consequences of US blocking sanctions:

Citizens, companies from the USA will not be able to do business with such banks;
All bank assets held in the US will be frozen. Banks are deprived of the opportunity to use their funds.
A bank that has fallen under sanctions will not be able to work with the dollar.
Blocking sanctions are also applied to persons who are under the control of banks from the SDN list. These are organizations, 50% or more of whose shares or shares are controlled by a sanctioned bank. For example, Sberbank has a subsidiary, Cetelem Bank, which is also subject to US blocking sanctions.

In addition, the applications of banks that are on the SDN list are removed from the AppStore and Google Play application stores, and already installed versions of applications stop working. Sberbank, for example, assured its customers that it has prepared solutions that will keep the applications already installed on phones working. The bank has adapted the version of Sberbank Online for use on mobile devices and is working on ways to distribute the application for customers. 

What are blocking EU sanctions:

A bank that is on the EU sanctions list will not be able to carry out any operations in the jurisdictions of countries that are members of the European Union;
All assets of banks on the EU list of blocking sanctions located in the EU are frozen.
This type of restriction affects not only the affected banks themselves, but also their customers. Thus, credit institutions included in the sub-sanctions list will not be able to conduct transactions in the currency of the country that imposed the sanctions, as well as in dollars. In addition, settlements with counterparties from the United States or from other countries that have imposed sanctions are not possible. Banks on the EU list of blocking sanctions will not be able to act as brokers for foreign securities.

There will also be difficulties with correspondent banks of Russian credit institutions if intermediaries are located in America. In normal mode, the payment scheme works like this: the client's bank sends a payment to its correspondent bank, and funds from it are transferred to the recipient's account. If such an intermediary bank is located on American territory, and the Russian bank is on the US list of blocking sanctions, then the payment may “hang” for several months, or maybe even years. Similar precedents have occurred since 2014.

Transfers will be made freely to banks in countries that have not joined the US and EU sanctions and have not added institutions to the list of restrictions. However, payments cannot be in dollars.

Banks subject to US blocking sanctions and included in the SDN list are not the most preferred counterparty even for banks from so-called friendly countries, as the latter risk falling under secondary sanctions. Often, credit institutions refuse to cooperate with sanctioned partners.

Will banks continue to operate as before in the territory of the Russian Federation?
Russian banks included in the sanctions list operate in Russia almost as before. That is, customers can use cards, a personal account on the site, withdraw currency and rubles within the limits set by the Central Bank, take loans and open savings accounts.

How does the shutdown of SWIFT affect the work of Russian banks?

SWIFT is the most important part of the communication infrastructure that provides international money flows. Considering that most of the top Russian banks are under blocking sanctions, disconnecting from SWIFT will not significantly change anything for them, since they cannot make international payments in the US, the EU and other countries that have joined the sanctions. But for MKB and RSHB clients, the disconnection from SWIFT will be more noticeable - so far, these banks have not been affected by severe Western sanctions. At the end of February, these banks were only subject to relatively mild sectoral sanctions.

It is worth noting that Russia has its own similar system - the Financial Message Transfer System (SPFS), with which the banking sector is going to replace SWIFT. It was created in order to provide banks under sanctions with the ability to make international payments. Today, in addition to Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Cuba, Tajikistan and Armenia already participate in it. Negotiations are underway to connect Indian banks to the SPFS for mutual settlements. In 2020, the monthly traffic of the system was 20 million messages. You can learn more about the consequences of disconnecting Russian banks from SWIFT here.

Which Russian banks have not yet been included in the sanctions list?

If we take into account that there are 330 commercial banks in Russia, and only about 20 of them are now under sanctions, then we can see that most financial institutions operate as usual. But it should be understood that the restrictions affected precisely the key financial institutions, which own about 80% of the banking assets of the entire country. Of the top banks, the sanctions did not affect Rosbank, Raiffeisenbank, UniCredit Bank and Tinkoff. These organizations carry out their activities in the usual way, carrying out operations both in Russia and abroad.

Suspension of activities in Russia Visa and Mastercard 

Against the background of the imposed sanctions, international payment systems in early March announced the suspension of activities in Russia. Since March 5, transactions with cards issued by these providers are no longer serviced outside of Russia. At the same time, Visa and Mastercard cards issued in another country will also not be serviced in Russia. Since 2015, a similar Mir payment system has been operating in the Russian Federation, with which banks hope to replace Visa and Mastercard. In addition, you can take the opportunity and issue a China UnionPay card for travel.