U.S. bank Citigroup is to close its remaining branches and consumer banking operations in Russia as it exits the country in protest at the war in Ukraine. The move, which affects 2,300 staff in the country, follows an exodus of Western businesses over the conflict.
Citi, the U.S. bank with the biggest presence in Russia, has been trying unsuccessfully to find a buyer for its business. A spokesperson told BBC News that, while its local consumer business would close, Citi would continue to support multinational institutional clients in the country, "particularly those which are undergoing winding down their own operations in the country," they said.
The bank, which has 15 branches in Russia, expects the exit to cost it about $170m over the next 18 months.
The bank announced in April 2021 that it would close many of its retail branches, but expanded the plans to include the withdrawal of all commercial banking operations after the Ukraine war began.
It joins countless other businesses in exiting Russia, either for moral reasons or because Western sanctions have made it impossible to operate there. In February, the U.S. banned American people and businesses from transacting with Russia's central bank, finance ministry and wealth fund.
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