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Citi, Deutsche bank will exit Russia in dramatic reversal

Citigroup and Deutsche Bank are joining their Wall Street peers exiting operations in Russia after the country’s invasion of Ukraine. On Monday morning, Citi — the US bank with largest presence in Russia, with estimated assets of $10 bllion there — announced it would be ending all operations in the country. The statement comes after the bank said it was reconsidering its presence in the country Wednesday. Citi previously closed its Russian consumer bank in April 2021. “We have now decided to expand the scope of that exit process to include other lines of business and continue to reduce our remaining operations and exposure,” Edward Skyler, head of Global Public Affairs said in a statement. “Due to the nature of banking and financial services operations, this decision will take time to execute.” Deutsche Bank, which previously said it was staying put has also announced its closing operations in Russia. Last Thursday the bank’s CFO said it had a duty to take care of Russian clients and that ceasing operations in Russia wasn’t “practical.” Citigroup shares were flat in Monday trades. Shares of Deutsche bank were recently up more than 9%. Just a day later, Deutsche leadership clearly changed its mind as the exodus of Wall Street firms began. In a statement Friday the bank said, “Like some international peers and in line with our legal and regulatory obligations, we are in the process of winding down our remaining business in Russia while we help our non-Russian multinational clients in reducing their operations.” On Thursday, Goldman Sachs was the first major Wall Street firm to announce it was closing all business operations in Moscow, making it the first major Wall Street firm to leave Russia after the country’s invasion of Ukraine. JP Morgan on Thursday said it also was severing ties with Russia. Morgan Stanley is actively unwinding the limited business it has in Russia, a source familiar said. While European banks are the most highly exposed to Russia, U.S. banks still have significant exposure, totaling $14.7 billion, according to Bank of International Settlements data. Many consumer-facing brands including McDonald’s, Starbucks, Coca Cola, and WeWork have announced their exit from Russia — but banks have been slower to follow suit.

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