Ukraine declares Hungarian OTP bank an international sponsor of terrorism
May 05. 2023. – 09:13 AM
According to the Kyiv Corruption Prevention Agency, OTP bank's Russian division is supporting the war against Ukraine and has thus been declared an international sponsor of terrorism, Népszava reports, based on the information provided by the agency.
They justified their decision on the grounds that the bank has continued its activities in Russia, and that
it is complying with the credit law, which stipulates that Russians can finance the Luhansk and Donetsk People's Republics.
The statement explains that OTP is one of the fifty biggest banks in Russia, serving more than 2.2 million customers. They say this underlines its role in a Russian economy struggling with and trying to circumvent Western sanctions, especially as its profits are used to pay a "colossal" amount into Russia's budget. Kyiv also reports that according to some press reports, the bank is offering favourable loans to members of the Russian military.
OTP reacted to the agency's decision in a statement. They wrote that the Hungarian financial institution's market share in Russia is negligible, being just 0.17 percent. They added: "Since the outbreak of the war, OTP has been considering all strategic options for the future of its Russian subsidiary, including the possibility of selling the bank.
To this end, we have involved the Rothschild investment bank and financial services company in preparing the sale, but shortly afterwards the Russian president issued a decree banning the exchange of ownership of foreign-owned banks."
It is precisely for this reason that they are unable to carry out the exit, the bank noted, pointing out that leaving the bank in disarray would be a "gift" to the Russian economy.
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