• 16/04/2024 21:46

Turkish banks began to close accounts of Russian companies

Turkish banks began to close accounts of Russian companies and made it more difficult to issue cards to Russians. Vedomosti writes about this with reference to a number of Russian businessmen, financial consultants and representatives of business associations.

Turkish banks have begun to close accounts of Russian companies

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At the beginning of the year, Russian businesses began to complain about the suspension of payments between Russia and Turkey. The calculations are still frozen, the newspaper's interlocutors say.


The attitude of local banks towards Russian residents changed sharply after the decree of US President Joe Biden on December 22, 2023, which instructed the US Treasury to punish banks that violate sanctions against Russia in a simplified manner.

Russian businessmen say that until December At least two banks in Turkey carried out any transactions with Russia, and two more were more careful. However, the first two of them were threatened with inclusion in the SDN list (“black list” of the US Treasury), after which they began to close correspondent accounts of companies and Russian banks.

Russian financial consultants confirm that Turkish banks have stopped servicing corporate clients with Russian roots, regardless of the country of registration of the company.

In addition, Turkish banks are tightening the conditions for opening accounts by Russians – if previously this was not a problem and cards were issued everyone, then now there are new requirements for new clients.

What they say in the Kremlin

“Yes, we know, and we are in an active dialogue with our Turkish partners and colleagues, we are discussing these problems,” said Russian Presidential Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov at a press briefing.

He admitted that Turkish banks are blocking payments to Russian companies due to US sanctions.


Earlier, the Ministry of Finance wrote that one of the largest Turkish banks, Turkiye Is Bankasi (Isbank), suspended acceptance of cards from the Russian payment system “Mir” after the published warning of the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the US Department of the Treasury (OFAC).

OFAC has issued a clarification according to which financial institutions from countries outside the United States, entering into agreements with the Russian National Payment Card System (NSCP), may be involved in circumventing American sanctions by expanding the territory of use of the Russian Mir payment system outside the Russian Federation.

The US and EU are increasing pressure on Turkey to overcome its evasion of anti-Russian sanctions amid concerns that the country's banking sector is a potential backdoor for illicit financing.

Read: US and EU threaten Turkish banks with sanctions – Financial Times

Turkey's five largest banks, Vakıfbank, Ziraat Bank, İş Bank, DenizBank and Halkbank are members of the Mir payment system, which was developed by the Central Bank of Russia as a national alternative to Visa and Mastercard.

As the Ministry of Finance wrote, Visa and Mastercard have suspended operations with cards of Russian banks abroad. Western officials fear that the use of Russian cards in Turkey could be used to circumvent sanctions.


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