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JP Morgan denies Sberbank, VTB customer payments

February 06, 2014, 12:57 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Consequently, Sberbank transferred all its customer transactions to Bank of America and Bank of New York, VTB - to Citi and Bank of America
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© EPA/JUSTIN LANE

MOSCOW, February 06. /ITAR-TASS/. US regulators’ struggle for a clear banking system caught up with the major Russian market players. According to Kommersant daily, JP Morgan denied Sberbank and VTB the right to make transactions of customer payments since the US bank revised approach transparency of operations.

Meanwhile, JP Morgan is not as suspicious about most of other Russian banks — obviously, according to the law of large numbers, the paper says.

In January, Sberbank and VTB reviewed their relations with JP Morgan, where both have correspondent accounts for their own and customer payments. According to the paper’s source, the US partner notified the banks of ceasing their operations with customer payments, though continued its own treasury transactions with Sberbank and VTB.

In effect, the paper says, the banks transferred all customer transactions to Bank of America and Bank of New York (Sberbank) and Citi and Bank of America (VTB). VTB is going to take treasury transactions out of JP Morgan, whereas Sberbank plans to continue such partnership.

Actions of JP Morgan, which is one the banks that leads by the number of the US authorities’ complaints, are comprehensible. Last year alone JP Morgan paid financial regulators about $20 billion for various violations on mortgage-backed securities. This year the bank is to pay another fine of $2.6 billion for failure to notify the authorities of suspicious customer transactions. Under such circumstances, the bank’s selective refusal to cooperate raised eyebrows in the market as procedure remained unchanged for a number of other Russian banks holding correspondent accounts in JP Morgan.

It may be the business scale of the Russian leading banks that caused such a coolness in JP Morgan attitude, the paper says. Along with the maximal number of customer transactions as compared to other Russian banks, Sberbank and VTB carry out a large number of operations in the interests of smaller banks holding correspondent accounts in these banks and unable to open them in US banks.

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