top of page

Russian bank Tinkoff stops outgoing SWIFT FX transfers

After admitting it had difficulty with such transactions due to restrictions on Russia's banks, Russian online bank Tinkoff announced on Wednesday that it was postponing outgoing SWIFT transfers in foreign currencies until Oct. 1.

Since Moscow sent troops into Ukraine in February, some Russian lenders have begun charging fees for accounts in dollars and euros as the sector affected by the sanctions adjusts to its new reality.

Oncoming SWIFT transfers now incur a commission thanks to Tinkoff.

Sanctions against the lender have not been specifically targeted, but major Russian banks have been cut off from SWIFT, the messaging system that underpins international financial transfers, which, according to Tinkoff, are largely dependent on Western payment infrastructure.

In a statement posted to its Telegram channel, Tinkoff said, "We are forced to admit that our efforts to ensure that our Western partners fulfilled their part of the arrangements within a reasonable and comfortable time frame for our clients have not been enough."

Tinkoff declared that it would give all proceeds from commissions and fees on transfers and accounts in foreign currencies to charity.

In order to fulfill all pending SWIFT transfers from customers, Tinkoff promised that "we will make every effort to ensure that all SWIFT transfers from customers awaiting processing are fulfilled within a reasonable time frame."

Russian customers currently take several weeks on average to complete SWIFT transfers, and this trend will continue.

Early in April, TCS Group (TCSq.L) ringfenced its Russian operations, giving its Russian management team shareholder authority over Tinkoff Bank.

The Bank of Russia's Faster Payments System (FPS), a popular service in Russia that enables phone-to-phone instant transfers, was used by Tinkoff to successfully facilitate a rouble cross-border payment from a Russian bank to one in Kyrgyzstan.

According to Tinkoff, in the future, some countries' cross-border transactions would be accessible to Russian banks.

"Transfers from foreign banks to Russia are planned to launch by the end of 2022."



bottom of page