Swiss regulator imposes transaction ban at Sberbank arm
ZURICH (Reuters) – Swiss financial market supervisor FINMA on Friday banned the Swiss arm of Russia’s largest lender Sberbank from making payments and transactions and imposed other measures it said were designed to protect creditors.
“Due to the effects of Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine and heightened international sanctions, Sberbank (Switzerland) AG is at risk of facing liquidity problems. To protect creditors, FINMA has ordered protective measures,” the financial watchdog said in a statement.
Sberbank earlier this week said it would quit almost all European markets as the European Central Bank ordered the closure of Sberbank Europe, having warned it faced failure because of a run on deposits sparked by the invasion.
Sberbank (Switzerland) is a separate entity, which specialises in commodity trade finance and serves around seventy business clients, FINMA said.
It ordered a deferral of the bank’s obligations from deposits to May 2 and imposed a wide-ranging ban on payments and transactions outside those “necessary for its operations as a bank” with immediate effect.
“The bank has decided not to engage in any new business until further notice and is largely restructuring and reducing its business activities,” FINMA said.
(Reporting by Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien and Marguerita Choy)