Possible US sanctions against Russian banks could restrict foreign exchange and the issuance of Visa and Mastercard cards, RBC reported quoting experts.
The US Senate has unveiled a new sanctions bill targeting Russia’s financial sector. At least three Russian financial giants are expected to be on the new sanctions list.
VEB.RF (Vnesheconombank), the Russian Direct Investment Fund and ten largest banks are at risk, including Sberbank, VTB, Gazprombank, MKB, Alfa-Bank, Russian Agricultural Bank, Otkritie, Promsvyazbank, Sovcombank and Transcapitalbank.
The “high-impact” financial and economic sanctions will be imposed if Russia launches a military operation against Ukraine. At the same time, experts hope the new restrictions will not affect financial transactions within Russia, as local banks have foreign currency reserves to service their depositors.
“The latter circumstance is especially comforting. Banks won’t have to make their foreign currency depositors withdraw their cash in rubles,” notes economist Sergei Khestanov, Associate Professor at RANEPA.