The NBU has noted positive signals in the statement that the Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI) Group announced following the results of the General Meeting on March 30.
Although the statement does not contain a clear plan of specific actions with deadlines, its rhetoric indicates a potential shift away from the search for "strategic options for the future of Raiffeisenbank russia" and towards RBI's readiness to actually wind down its russian-based business and implement decisions that will lead to the sale of Raiffeisenbank russia or its separation or deconsolidation from the RBI Group.
We hope that as a responsible member of the global financial community, the RBI Group will make efforts to put these initiatives into practice in the near future.
Before RBI convened its Annual General Meeting, the NBU Governor called on the RBI Supervisory Board to urge the Group not to procrastinate with a decision to withdraw from russia. He also drew the RBI Group's attention to the unacceptability of exiting russia by exchanging Raiffeisenbank's assets for those of the sanctioned Austrian-based Sberbank. A deal that would allow the Kremlin-owned bank to keep its frozen sanctioned assets in Europe and return them to russia – so that it can continue to bankroll its economic machine and capability to wage war on Ukraine – does not stand up to any criticism. Not to mention a violation of sanctions that would have to be committed to implement such an arrangement.
As a systemically important bank that contributes to maintaining Ukraine's financial stability as the war rages on, Raiffeisen Bank Aval JSC has the NBU’s backing.
The bank's participation in the banking sector's development, economic programs, and humanitarian projects has been tangible and important.
As before, the NBU will keep a keen eye on the activities of banks that have operational russian-based subsidiaries. The NBU will continue to communicate with partner countries' regulators with sanctioning power and to draw their attention to international banks' presence in the russian market.