| 21 February 2024, Wednesday |

SWIFT says it is waiting for names of Russian banks to disconnect

SWIFT said on Tuesday it was waiting to see which banks authorities want disconnected from its global financial messaging system as sanctions in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine are rolled out.

The European Union, the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Canada and Britain agreed on Saturday to ensure that selected Russian banks are removed from SWIFT to harm their ability to operate globally.

“We will always comply with applicable sanctions laws,” SWIFT said in a statement on Tuesday.

“We are engaging with these authorities to understand which entities will be subject to these new measures and will disconnect them once we receive legal instruction to do so.”

Banks use Belgian-based SWIFT to send millions of instructions daily supporting trillions of dollars in payments annually to underpin international trade.

The Council of EU states, which is expected to publish a list of the banks affected, was unable to comment immediately.

The world’s financial system is severing ties with Russia and its banks to stop Russian companies raising funds on foreign markets.

Market sources said Bloomberg had flagged Russian sovereign bonds as well as securities related to Russian banks VTB and Sberbank with a warning label saying “sanctions apply to this security” though trading continued.

The London Stock Exchange said on Tuesday it will stop trading in two global depository receipts for Russia’s VTB Bank after Britain’s financial regulator suspended them in response to sanctions.

However, listings on the LSE in Gazprom and Sberbank were still trading and down sharply on the day.

Denmark’s Saxo Bank said it had halted trading pairs of the Russian rouble with other currencies such as the dollar and euro.

Major securities settlement houses, along with Deutsche Boerse in Frankfurt, and ICE and Nasdaq in New York, announced curbs on Russian trading on Monday.

  • Reuters