Deutsche Bank of Germany has announced it will wind down its business in Russia. The German lender, the largest in the country, is reversed course just a day after its CEO said exiting Russia went against it values.
In an interview with CNBC Thursday, the bank’s CFO said it had a duty to take care of Russian clients. The statement on Thursday had been met with sharp criticism from investors and politicians alike.
The first shot was fired by Bill Browder, an investor campaigning to expose corruption. He said that, by staying in Russia, Deutsche was “completely at odds with the international business community and will create backlash, and lost reputation and business in the West.”
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Fabio De Masi, a former member of Germany’s Bundestag and a prominent campaigner against financial crime, claimed Deutsche Bank’s initial decision not to withdraw from the country was down to its close ties with the Russian elite, many of whom are subject to the sanctions levied against Moscow over its offensive in Ukraine.
In a press release by the bank on Friday, it stated;
As we have repeatedly said, we condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine in the strongest possible terms and support the German government and its allies in defending our democracy and freedom.
To clarify: Deutsche Bank has substantially reduced its Russian exposure since 2014. 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. There won’t be any new business in Russia.
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,” Deutsche said on Friday.
“There won’t be any new business in Russia.”
Deutsche Bank now joins, USA’s Goldman Sachs on a long list of corporate giants that have recently announced plans to shut down their businesses in Russia.
Nnamdi Maduakor is a Writer, Investor and Entrepreneur
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