• 14/04/2024 15:56

Austria has launched an investigation against Raiffeisen Bank International

The Austrian financial regulator (FMA) has launched an investigation into the Austrian banking group Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI) due to suspicions of money laundering, writes Reuters with a link to the bank’s annual report.

Austria has launched an investigation against Raiffeisen Bank International

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What is known

According to the agency’s source, the investigation concerns transactions with the participation of Russia and data leaks called Cyprus Confidential. The bank explained that the regulator is studying payments from three clients that were made between 2017 and 2020. The credit institution was warned about this in January 2023.

According to the FMA, the financial institution “did not fully comply with its administrative obligations”, in particular violating the “know your customer” rule, which is a mechanism to combat money laundering.

Raiffeisen Bank intends to appeal any fines that will be issued by the regulator. “We are talking about old payments before 2020,” said an RBI representative.

Also, the investigation against the bank is being conducted by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the US Treasury.

As noted by Raiffeisen Bank, it is related to “the payments business that RBI supports with US correspondent banks in light of events related to Russia and Ukraine.”

“Violation of US sanctions may lead to fines and freezing of accounts or termination of business relations with American correspondent banks,” the bank emphasized.

Recall

After the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, the parent structure of the Russian Raiffeisenbank, Raiffeisen Bank International, announced its intention to curtail its business in Russia . The group outlined two possible exit scenarios: sale of assets or spin-off – actual write-off. Until now, RBI's exit from Russia has been delayed. At the same time, Raiffeisenbank remained one of the few large banks in the country that did not fall under sanctions. This allows him to conduct foreign exchange transactions without restrictions.

Ukraine included Raiffeisen Bank in the list of “war sponsors,” but after Austria blocked the 12th package of EU sanctions against Russia, Kyiv removed the bank from the list. Vienna reacted to this and lifted its veto on sanctions.

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