The US disconnected Tinkoff and three more Russian banks from dollars

The United States continues to tighten the noose on the Russian financial system, cutting off more and more banks from the ability to conduct dollar transactions.

On Thursday, the US Treasury Department announced a new sanctions package for the invasion of Ukraine, including four more credit institutions from the Russian Federation on “blacklists”. As part of the blocking measures with the freezing of assets and the ban on any transactions with citizens and legal entities of the United States, Tinkoff Bank fell – the 11th place in the Russian Federation in terms of assets and the 7th in terms of the size of accounts of individuals. The bank, whose customers are 27 million Russian citizens and companies, was included in the SDN list, which already includes almost all large public and private credit organizations.

Tinkoff has been under EU blocking sanctions since February. Similar US actions will prevent him from entering into transactions with American banks and from holding correspondent accounts in the US through which settlements are made in dollars.

US sanctions also covered Loco-Bank (52nd in terms of assets), Solidarity Bank (82nd), Social Commercial Bank in St. Petersburg (102nd) and Unistream Bank, the operator of the payment system of the same name.

“The imposition of sanctions on an additional number of Russian-based financial institutions further limits the Russian Federation’s ability to maintain access to the global financial system,” explains the U.S. Treasury Department.

As for Tinkoff Bank, the department points out that it is owned by billionaire Vladimir Potanin, who is listed on US, UK and Canadian sanctions lists. Former Russia’s richest man, Potanin acquired the bank in April 2022, buying out 35% of his parent TCS group. The founder of the bank, Oleg Tinkov, said he was forced to sell the company “for a penny” after he opposed the war with Ukraine. Tinkov himself was placed under UK sanctions in March 2022. They were lifted on Thursday.

Among state-owned banks, only Gazprombank, which accepts payments for Russian gas supplies to the EU, remains outside the US Treasury Department’s blockades. However, the GPB is subject to “shadow sanctions” that U.S. banks impose unannounced by the authorities. In January, the GPB, Russia’s third largest by assets, received notices of the closing of correspondent accounts by US JPMorgan Chase Bank and Bank of New York Mellon (BoNY). From January 27, the bank stopped cross-border transfers in dollars and encouraged customers to switch to other currencies.


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