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Ukraine Crisis: Russian banks start to feel sanctions; Mastercard blocks entities

RIYADH: British banking group HSBC, France’s Societe Generale and South Korean lenders are winding down relationships with a host of Russian banks, as they put Western sanctions against Russia into practice.


  • The US, Britain, Europe and Canada announced new sanctions on Russia — including blocking certain banks’ access to the SWIFT international payment system — following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
  • The London Stock Exchange has suspended the membership of VTB Capital, which is owned by VTB. The suspension means VTB Capital can no longer trade on the LSE.

  • Two leading banks in South Korea confirmed on Monday that while they have not yet received specific guidelines from SWIFT, they stopped trade financing with at least seven Russian banks.

  • International departments of Chinese banks are likely to be monitoring their links with Russian banks, Han-Shen Lin, senior adviser for advisory firm The Asia Group, said.


Banks measures

An advisory notice from HSBC, seen by Reuters, told staff how they should apply the new global sanctions on Russia.

Headed “Action Require” and dated Feb. 27, it highlights the fact that the UK Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation had authorized “The wind down of certain transactions involving VTB Bank and certain UK subsidiaries.” VTB, one of Russia’s biggest banks, is affected by British sanctions.

Mastercard’s move

Mastercard Inc. said late on Monday it had blocked multiple financial institutions from its payment network as a result of sanctions imposed on Russia over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
Mastercard will continue to work with regulators in coming days, the company said in a statement. It also promised to contribute a $2 million for humanitarian relief.

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