Deutsche Bank was the first to go of the big European banks, officially announcing it will shut down business in Russia due to the ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
Now, BNP Paribas and Crédit Agricole are to end all their business operations in Russia, becoming the latest international banks to sever ties with corporate clients in the country.
“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,” Deutsche Bank said in a statement.
“There won’t be any new business in Russia.”
After this announcement, the bank’s shares rose more than 8%.
BNP, which had already said it would halt new financing deals, has now said it will stop processing other types of transactions.
French peer Crédit Agricole, which similarly only has investment banking activities in Russia, later said it would also halt all commercial activity there.
The lenders said they were now informing Russian clients. Their decision highlights the contrasting approaches of banks to the crisis, with some grappling with how to continue to run their local Russian operations and others leaving.
Other Wall Street and European investment banks, including Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan and Deutsche Bank, have already said they will leave, although they have not yet said what this will involve.
BNP, the eurozone’s biggest bank, declined to comment on what would happen to its roughly 500 staff in Russia. Crédit Agricole has 170 staff in the country.
Some companies, including carmakers that have frozen production and retailers that have shut stores, have continued to pay local employees after suspending their Russian activities. Those with mainly foreign staff have in many cases repatriated them or moved them to other countries.
Other banks with Russian subsidiaries, such as Italy’s UniCredit and Austria’s Raiffeisen, have said they are considering exits but, with few prospective buyers for their businesses, options include winding them down.
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