Western banks reserve $10bln for expected losses after leaving Russia
Western banks are setting up the ground for their fall upon withdrawing from Russia, caused by the West's sanctions over the war in Ukraine.
Western banks are allocating more than $10 billion in anticipated losses that they could sustain if they decide to leave Russia, as the West ups the gauge with sanctions on Moscow in order to increase pressure on the country, the Financial Times reported Saturday.
The sanctions imposed by the United States and its European allies on Moscow over the war in Ukraine have forced several West-based banks to look into withdrawing from Russia, the newspaper added.
In a bid to cushion their fall after their withdrawal, the banks are reserving more than $10 billion as a precaution, with the Italian banking group UniCredit - for example - allocating $1.37 billion to cover possible damage. The bank is still operating in Russia, but it warned that it could incur losses of $5.6 billion if it suspends its operations in the country.
Read more: How sanctioning Russia may be futile
Nearly 1,000 companies have publicly announced over the past two months - since the start of the Ukraine war - that they were voluntarily reducing their activities in Russia by either scaling down their businesses or shutting down their operations in the country. These corporations include banks and financial enterprises such as Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, American Express, Deutsche Bank, and many others.
JPMorgan had taken a hit with $524 million in losses linked to the bank's commodities and the sanctions imposed on Russia, which included $120 million in trading losses related to nickel.
Investment baking fees dipped 31%, with equity underwriting plummeting 76%, marking its worst quarter in the better half of a decade.
With the US implementing its bid to reduce surging inflation with the Fed spearheading stricter policies, the bank's CEO, Jamie Dimon, said markets will get much worse in the coming months.
The reasons behind the withdrawal from Russia include fears of secondary sanctions, which would complicate interaction with Russian banks due to their disconnection from the SWIFT international payment system or their reputation taking a hit.
In response, the US and its allies have rolled out comprehensive sanctions, including restrictions on the Russian central bank, export control measures, SWIFT cutoff for select banks, and closure of airspace to all Russian flights. Many of their companies have suspended their Russian operations.
The status-quo and the US sanctions on Russia have weakened US citizens' purchasing power and heavily impacted the economic situation in the country, causing fuel prices to soar, with US oil prices reaching their all-time high following a ban on Russian fuel exports.