Credit Agricole Says It Suspended Activities in Russia
(Bloomberg) -- Credit Agricole SA has suspended its activities in Russia, joining a growing list of lenders scaling back their business in the country after the invasion of Ukraine.
The Paris-based bank contacted its international corporate clients to agree on suspension modalities for the services provided by its local unit, according a statement on Tuesday. The services will be suspended in the coming weeks.
An increasing number of U.S. and European lenders have announced intention to wind down their operations in Russia amid wide-ranging sanctions imposed against the country. In the past weeks, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Deutsche Bank AG, Commerzbank AG and BNP Paribas SA have all taken steps to cut business in Russia.
The bank, which said earlier this month that no new financing has been granted to Russian clients since the beginning of the conflict, disclosed an exposure of 4.9 billion euros ($5.4 billion) to the country. Credit Agricole’s off-shore balance sheet there consists of 15 large corporates, mainly involved in heavy industries and the energy sector, and is mostly in U.S. dollars and euros.
Credit Agricole’s corporate and investment banking Russia unit has 170 employees and generated a net income of 3.7 million euros in 2021.
Like its peers Societe Generale SA and BNP Paribas, Credit Agricole said the situation in Russia will not have any impact on the distribution of its dividend for 2021. This contrasts with Raiffeisen Bank International AG which announced earlier this month it was halting the payment of its dividend, as the lender, which derives 30% of its pretax profit from Russia, assesses the impact of economic sanctions.
Read More: SocGen CEO Oudea Says Bank Will ‘Remain Flexible’ on Russia Unit
Credit Agricole, which employs 2,400 employees in Ukraine across its 148-branch local retail network, has set up a solidarity fund to support its local employees impacted by the war. The lender’s Polish unit CA Polska is providing accommodation and work opportunities to its employees fleeing Ukraine.
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