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Sberbank eyeing fastest options to leave Ukrainian market

March 21, 15:58 UTC+3

Earlier, Ukrainian president imposed sanctions against five banks with Russian state capital operating in Ukraine

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A protest outside of a branch of Sberbank of Russia in Kiev, Ukraine

A protest outside of a branch of Sberbank of Russia in Kiev, Ukraine

© EPA/SERGEY DOLZHENKO

MOSCOW, March 21. /TASS/. Sberbank is considering options for the fastest possible exit from the Ukrainian market, Head of Sberbank Herman Gref told reporters.

"Currently we are looking for options for a quick exit from the Ukrainian market, and we hope that we will be given this opportunity. We are in a very active stage of considering such options," Gref said.

At the same time, Gref noted that the situation in Ukraine is now quite difficult for the bank. According to him, the bank expects support from the Ukrainian authorities regarding the restoration of the normal operation of the bank, but so far, there is "complete connivance from the law enforcement agencies of Ukraine."

"Our bank in Ukraine was clearly the best on the market in terms of technology and compliance with all regulations. This is the best bank on the market," Head of Sberbank said.

Gref also recalled that the bank's reserves for losses in the region total around 70%.

Earlier, Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko imposed sanctions against five banks with Russian state capital operating in the Ukrainian market. Sanctions were introduced after the decision of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine adopted the day before. Restrictions are introduced for a year against Sberbank, VS Bank, Prominvestbank, VTB Bank and BM Bank.

Sanctions include a ban on withdrawal of funds outside of Ukraine, as well as payment of dividends, interest, return of interbank deposits and loans, funds from correspondent accounts of subordinated debt. The ban also concerns distribution of profits and capital of these five banks.

At the same time, restrictions, according to the National Bank of Ukraine, do not prohibit settlements between residents of Ukraine and their counterparties who have accounts in the parent structures.

Since March 13, Ukrainian nationalists have been blocking activities of Sberbank’s central office in Kiev, pitched tents in front of the building, made bonfires. At the same time, Russian banks in Ukraine are under pressure from the authorities. The National Bank of Ukraine announced on March 7 that it is ready to initiate sanctions against Sberbank’s subsidiary in Ukraine, if information about the bank providing services in Russia to customers with passports of Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics is confirmed.

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