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German lender Deutsche Bank is winding down its business in Russia in response to the country’s escalating military attack on Ukraine.

The move comes after the bank encountered scathing criticism from investors and the government for continuing its ties with Russia following the launch of the military invasion.

Deutsche said it ‘condemns the Russian invasion of Ukraine in the strongest possible terms and support the German government and its allies in defending our democracy and freedom’.

The bank has been cutting its Russian exposure and footprint since 2014.

It recently reported ‘limited and substantially mitigated’ risk exposures to both Russia and Ukraine.

As of 31 December 2021, Deutsche’s net loan exposure to Russia stood at €0.6bn after taking account of guarantees and asset collateral. Its net loan exposure to Ukraine was €42m at the end of December.

Last week, the bank had hinted a potential closure of its technology centre in Russia. It said that a closure would lead to ‘no significant’ business continuity risk to the functioning of its global operations.

The bank’s Russian Technology Centre, which has 1,500 staff, makes up about 5% of its internal and external technology workforce.

Deutsche Bank said in a statement: “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. There won’t be any new business in Russia.”

Last week, US banking giants JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs decided to shutter their operations in Russia in line with sanctions on the country. More banks are expected to follow their suit as Russia expedite its invasion of Ukraine.