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RBI to Shut Down Affiliates on Crimea

Published: April 7, 2014; 10:59 · (Vindobona)

The Ukrainian affiliate of Raffeisen Bank International (RBI) is closing all its affiliate on Crimea until mid-April.

Raiffeisen Bank Aval will close the remaining affiliates on Crimea. / Picture: © Raiffeisen Bank International AG / S. Klimpt

Until the middle of the months RBI will shut down all its affiliates on Crimea due to the political crisis between Ukraine and Russia. As reported by Reuters, a spokeswoman of the Austrian lender confirmed the plans of closing the remaining six branch shops on Crimea. Raiffeisen Bank Aval had run 32 affiliates on the peninsula in the past.

According to the spokeswoman of RBI, the branch shops on Crimea only contributed less than two percent of the total business in Ukraine. A total of 800 branch shops are still operating in Ukraine as usual and will be opened at the usual business hours. As reported, the selling of the entire Ukrainian affiliate was postponed by RBI because of the current political crisis.

RBI has put off the planned sale of its affiliates in Ukraine and Hungary. CEO Karl Sevelda is considering to keep the CEE branches. At the end of March this year he announced he could imagine making a “change in the strategy” and keeping the Ukrainian affiliate, Bank Aval, for the time being depending on the developments. However, before that, RBI will have to face new burdens since this year loss is menacing after a net profit of € 101m was achieved last year.

Crimea, which makes about two percent of the complete business activity of Bank Aval, has closed 26 out of 32 branch shops for now. Currently the bank examines if business can be transferred to the Russian bank. Sevelda announced not wanting to “window-dress” business in Ukraine. According to him, there were “risks to Aval Bank and RBI”.