The Austrian Ministry of Finance did not see any reason for concern in the inspection of the Russian unit of Raiffeisenbank by the American authorities.
This is reported by Reuters with reference to the ministry.
“The investigation of the US sanctions authority is a normal process that does not cause concern, because the sanctions authorities, of course, continue to receive information about Austrian companies doing business in Russia,” the ministry said in a statement.
In mid-February, the bank received a request from the US Treasury to “clarify the payment business and related processes supported by Raiffeisenbank in light of recent events related to Russia and Ukraine.” Reuters experts noted that the sanctions division of the Ministry of Finance conducts such checks periodically and they do not mean the automatic imposition of fines.
Raiffeisenbank is the Russian “daughter” of the Austrian financial group Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI). As the Financial Times (FT) reported with reference to the words of the bank’s top manager, Russian Raiffeisenbank now accounts for 40-50% of all payments between Russia and the rest of the world.
At the end of February, the bank decided to increase the minimum amount of currency transfers. The decision was made against the background of the disconnection of Tinkoff Bank from the SWIFT international financial message transmission system, which banks use for currency transactions. This happened as a result of the introduction of EU sanctions against Tinkoff Bank on February 25. Also, since February 27, SWIFT transfers in dollars, pounds sterling, Danish krona, Japanese yen, Swedish krona, Canadian dollars, Norwegian krona, Australian dollars and Swiss francs have been suspended by Uralsib Bank, which on February 24, 2023 fell under blocking US sanctions.