By Swann Collins, investor, writer and international business consultant – Eurasia Business News, July 2, 2022
Rosbank is a Russian bank that was part of the Societe Generale international financial group until April 2022. Currently, the main shareholder of the bank is the Russian group Interros, controlled by the oligarch Vladimir Potanin. Photo credits: Eurasia Business News, January 2022.
The financial intermediary Clearstream blocked Rosbank’s account. This is the consequence of the introduction of sanctions by UK against the main shareholder of the credit institution, the Russian oligarch Vladimir Potanin.
Rosbank’s correspondent account with Clearstram is no longer accessible, according to a press release from the financial company, published on July 1. Rosbank can no longer receive funds on securities issued outside of Russia and denominated in rubles (RUB).
Last May, Vladimir Potanin bought Rosbank from the French group Societe Generale, which had decided to leave the Russian market following the pressure of Western sanctions due to Russian military operations in Ukraine. On June 29, the British authorities imposed sanctions against Mr. Potanin.
On June 30, the Office for the Implementation of Financial Sanctions of the United Kingdom (OFSI) issued general license INT/2022/1968500 authorizing the liquidation of transactions involving Rosbank and its subsidiaries until July 30, 2022.
This license will allow customers who hold a ruble balance in their main Clearstream Banking account to transfer the funds out of Clearstream Banking. The license does not allow the receipt of new ruble balances. This is a measure allowing the unwinding of existing participations or transactions, indicates the financial intermediary based in Luxembourg.
“The Bank is fully monitoring the situation at all management levels, including taking into account the expansion of the UK sanctions list against Russia. In the interests of customers, we do not recommend carrying out transactions in pounds sterling through the bank ,” the bank’s Telegram channel reads .
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Clearstream is a clearing house that operates securities settlement systems based in Luxembourg and Germany, which allow the holding and transfer of securities in various currencies and between different foreign banks. The Company operates its International Central Securities Depository (ICSD) from Luxembourg.
In April 2022, the Societe Generale financial group announced the cessation of its banking and insurance activities in Russia. Rosbank was bought by the Russian group Interros (Interros Capital Ltd), which belongs to the co-owner of Norilsk Nickel Vladimir Potanin. The bank will retain its status as a privileged partner of Societe Generale in Russia. On May 18, 2022, Societe Generale announced the completion of the sale of Rosbank and the group’s Russian insurance divisions to Interros Capital. Rosbank is the 11th largest bank in the Russian market (almost 1.6 trillion rubles in assets at the end of 2021).
After the purchase of Rosbank, Interros also acquired a non-controlling 35% stake in TCS Group from Oleg Tinkov (the parent company of Tinkoff Bank). In May, Mr. Tinkov said that at the beginning of this year, one of the major American investment funds offered him $725 million for a 5% stake in TCS, but the owner refused the deal. As a result, he sold the asset for “perfect pennies.” And in 2020, the deal to sell TCS Group to Yandex fell through, which could have become the largest M&A transaction in the financial sector that year ($5.48 billion).
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© Copyright 2022 – Swann Collins, investor and international business consultant.