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Seven Moscow banks already on the SWIFT blacklist - EU Commission to add further Russian banks

VTB, Russia's second-largest bank, is among the lenders set to be cut off from Europe's Swift messaging network.

The list was published today (Wednesday) in its entirety on AML Intelligence's 'Regulatory Watch' vertical.

VTB is joined on the blacklist by Rossiya, which is regarded as Putin's inner circle's bank.

"“Depending on Russia’s behaviour, the Commission is prepared to add further Russian banks at short notice," a spokesperson said.

The following seven banks are currently on the draft SWIFT blacklist:

  • Bank Otkritie

  • Novikombank

  • Promsvyazbank

  • Bank Rossiya

  • Sovcombank



"At the speed of light, the European Union has adopted three waves of heavy sanctions against Russia’s financial system, its high-tech industries and its corrupt elite," said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

"This is the largest sanctions package in our Union’s history. Today’s decision to disconnect key Russian banks from the SWIFT network will send yet another very clear signal to Putin and the Kremlin "

Sberbank, Russia's largest bank, is absent from the list. The European Central Bank (ECB) announced on Monday that Sberbank's EU subsidiaries were either about to fail or had already failed due to deteriorating liquidity. By assets, the bank is Moscow's largest lender.

The absence of Gazprombank from the draft list is significant and possibly controversial.

By keeping the bank off the SWIFT blacklist, EU countries may be able to continue paying for Russian gas supplies.

The bank is inextricably linked to Russia's energy sector and bears the name of Gazprom, Moscow's fossil fuels behemoth. Last night, UEFA revoked the gas and oil company's €40 million per year Champions League sponsorship.

Europe, the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and, most recently, Japan issued a joint statement over the weekend announcing the decision to remove some Russian banks from the SWIFT system.

Meanwhile, SWIFT issued the following statement on its website today: "Diplomatic decisions have brought Swift into efforts to bring this crisis to an end, and we will always comply with applicable sanctions laws."

"We are engaging with these authorities to understand which entities will be subject to these new measures and will disconnect them once we receive legal instruction to do so," the statement continued.

Russian banks such as Rossiya Bank and Promsvyazbank, which are closely linked to Moscow's military, have already been sanctioned.

On Thursday of last week, US sanctions were imposed on VTB.

Separately, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told the European Parliament in Brussels on Tuesday that the EU was preparing to implement the largest sanctions package in its history. "These sanctions will take a heavy toll on the Russian economy and the Kremlin," she predicted.

The Commission President stated that prohibiting transactions with the Russian central bank is part of a process that "paralyses billions in foreign reserves, turning off the tap on Putin’s war."


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