VTB has never held “the money of drug cartels”, unlike some Western banks, has not violated any rules, so the bank considers the sanctions against itself unfair, its head Andrey Kostin said in an interview with Reuters.
“There are some things for which banks can be punished – money laundering, some illegal operations. We often read about large Western banks that have money from drug cartels in Latin America, and something else from this series. We have never done anything like this. We had very good relations with American banks, we interacted, acted as a partner in big deals here with both American and European banks,” he said.
Kostin called the sanctions “a political decision”, “very wrong” for the global financial system, including “for the dollar and its role.” He expressed confidence that this would “backfire” on the US financial system. “It is impossible, when you have an international means of payment, when all countries recognize its role as a generally accepted means of payment, to use it for military-political purposes. <...> In the financial sector, the United States is now a typical world gendarme – disconnecting everyone from dollars, scaring everyone. This is a terrible weapon, but it will definitely find opposition,” said the head of VTB.
According to him, the US financial system will gradually lose large investors, as it becomes unsafe to keep funds in dollars, and many countries are switching to settlements in the national currency.
VTB is the second largest bank in Russia in terms of assets. According to IFRS reporting for the first quarter, VTB’s assets amount to 25.6 trillion rubles, and the amount of liabilities is 23.8 trillion rubles, of which almost 20 trillion rubles. are client funds placed with the bank.
VTB came under US blocking sanctions on February 24 last year, the day Russia launched its military operation in Ukraine. In 2022, the bank received a loss under RAS of 756.8 billion rubles. against a profit of 242.6 billion rubles. in 2021. The total loss under IFRS last year amounted to 612.6 billion rubles. These figures have become a record in the history of the bank.
Deputy Chairman of the Board of VTB Dmitry Pyanov spoke about plans in 2024 to carry out a special reorganization, as a result of which he will be able to write off assets and liabilities blocked due to sanctions. He noted that this would become possible if amendments to 292-FZ were adopted this year, which initially gave such an option to sanctioned credit institutions.
Last summer, the authorities developed a new scheme for clearing the balance sheets of banks affected by sanctions: credit institutions can carry out a non-standard reorganization – form a new legal entity, transfer to it assets frozen due to restrictions, and at the same time liabilities in the form of obligations to foreign creditors.
According to this scheme, all settlements on debts to non-resident clients will be performed only at the expense of the assets of the new company, that is, frozen ones. The law came into force in July last year. Banks can carry out such reorganization until July 1, 2023.