ECB urged eurozone banks to quickly leave Russia

“Eurozone banks have already significantly reduced their presence in Russia, and the European Central Bank continues to put pressure on them to withdraw completely from the Russian market, Andrea Enria, head of the ECB agency that oversees the banking sector, said Tuesday.

“I think it is important that banks continue to focus on further reducing their risks (related to Russia) and, ideally, on exiting the market as soon as possible”, Enria said.

Several European banks, including Austria’s Raiffeisen Bank International and Italy’s UniCredit, are still operating in Russia.

Enria said banks are no longer making new loans in Russia and that it is difficult to sell them because of pressure from Moscow, including the requirement that the president approve. However, he stressed the need for further action.

“This is a process that we not only welcome, but also put strong pressure on banks to implement it, because continuing to operate in Russia involves huge reputational risk”, the head of the ECB’s supervisory committee added.

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