The SRB intervenes in the European subsidiaries of the Russian Sberbank and applies suspension of payments and a ‘corralito’


The Single Resolution Board (JUR) has intervened in the European subsidiaries that the Russian bank Sberbank has in Austria, Croatia and Slovenia after the argument of the European Central Bank (ECB) that these entities are “failing or likely bankrupt”, according to reported in a statement.

The SRB, the financial supervisor that executed the Banco Popular resolution in Spain, has agreed with the ECB’s assessment of Sberbank Europe, based in Austria, and its Croatian and Slovenian subsidiaries.

As a preventive measure, the European body has decided to apply a moratorium on bank payments until March 1, 2022. This measure means that the creditors of the entities cannot exercise the rights derived from the securities they have in their possession and will suspend all payment obligations related to any contract signed by the entity.

As part of the Banking Union, citizens’ deposits are guaranteed up to a maximum of €100,000 per person. However, the bank’s clients will only be able to withdraw a certain daily amount from the entities, which is popularly known as a ‘corralito’. The SRB has not broken down what amount customers will be able to withdraw.

Sberbank Europe is one of seven Austrian banks directly supervised by the ECB. In addition to its subsidiaries in Croatia and Slovenia, it has operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Serbia. It also has a branch in Germany. At the end of 2021, Sberbank Europe’s assets were €13.6 billion.

The ECB has ruled that the bank is “bankrupt or possible bankrupt” after taking into consideration that half plus one of its shares are owned by the Russian bank Sberbank and considering that, in the near future, the European entity will not be able to pay its debts .

“Sberbank Europe and its subsidiaries experienced significant deposit outflows as a result of the reputational impact of geopolitical tensions. This led to a deterioration of its liquidity position. There are no measures available with a realistic chance of restoring the position at the group level and in each of its subsidiaries.