Sberbank's Ukrainian subsidiary restricts retail services due to pressure from nationalists
The Ukrainian subsidiary of leading Russian lender Sberbank lowered limits on cash withdrawals at the bank and its ATMs and imposed a 5% commission on money transfers in foreign currency as of March 15, saying this was a forced measure due to pressure put on the bank.
"Due to the unlawful actions of third parties blocking the head office and physical harm done to the bank's bank machines, which have led to the disruption of cash deliveries to branches/bank machines, we announce the imposition of temporary limits on cash withdrawals from the current accounts of individuals through the bank's cash department in the amount of UAH30,000 (equivalent in other currencies) per day per client as of March 15, 2017," the bank said in a statement released on Tuesday.
In addition, Sberbank is imposing a 5% commission (but not less than $50/50 euros/3,000 Russian rubles) on transfers in dollars, euros, Russian rubles and/or other foreign currencies from current retail accounts at the bank to accounts at other Ukrainian banks.
The bank also said that temporary limits on cash withdrawals from card accounts were imposed on March 14.
However, Sberbank said that "at the current moment the bank is operating as usual and meeting all of its obligations to clients."
Nationalists bricked up the entrance to the central branch of the Ukrainian Sberbank on Monday. The protesters called on the Ukrainian authorities to revoke the licenses of Russian banks in Ukraine. In the interests of security, the bank's branches were temporarily closed. The bank filed a complaint with law enforcement agencies about the protesters' actions.
On Monday night, unknown persons in several Ukrainian regions blocked the operation of dozens of bank machines that belong to Russian banks operating in the country.
The offices of Sberbank and other subsidiaries of Russian banks in Ukraine have been attacked before. The latest wave of incidents was sparked by Sberbank's announcement that it was prepared to accept the passports of citizens of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk people's republics for provision of services.