Krediidipank said that the extended U.S. sanctions list it now finds itself on would not affect its customers’ settlements or its day-to-day activity, as the bank didn't intend to issue bonds for U.S. investors, though Chairman of the Board Andrus Kluge said that it might have to do more explaining dealing with international clients.
“Settlements of Krediidipank’s clients or the bank’s daily activities are not impacted by U.S. sanctions. Krediidipank has not issued and isn’t planning to issue bonds targeting U.S. investors,” the bank's communications manager, Allan Soon, said in a press release.
Krediidipank’s inclusion in the list of enterprises affected by sanctions against Russia arised from Russian BM-Bank’s being its majority shareholder at a stake of more than 59%, Soon explained.
“Although U.S. sanctions covered all of BM-Bank’s subsidiaries already under an earlier directive, the U.S. authorities apparently deemed it necessary to list sanctioned banks’ stakes above 50% in foreign banks by name, so it would be easier for U.S. companies and individuals to follow the implementation of the sanctions,” he added.
The United States imposed sanctions on BM-Bank already back in 2014 in connection with Russian aggression in Ukraine. It became known on Thursday that Estonian bank Krediidipank had been included in an expanded list of U.S. sanctions on enterprises connected to Russia.
The chairman of the bank’s board of directors, Andrus Kluge, told ERR’s Estonian news portal on Friday that there was a chance they might have to explain more to international customers, but that he didn’t see how the decision would affect the bank’s clients.
“For example, banks abroad we have correspondent accounts with might ask what our connection with that bank in Moscow really is,” Kluge said. He added that the bank had nothing to do with any activities in Crimea, and that the Moscow parent company didn’t control or run Krediidipank, despite it’s 60% stake in it.
About the sanctions’ influence on the bank’s everyday business, Kluge pointed out that their main activity was still in Estonia, and that their ability to issue bonds in American dollars didn’t affect them.
According to Kluge, the American decision came as a surprise. He heard about it on Thursday evening, when an ERR journalist called him and asked for comment. “We didn’t have any information that the USA was planning to extend its list,” he said.
Editor: Editor: Dario Cavegn