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March 11, 2022updated 23 Mar 2022 1:15pm

Ukraine crisis: Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan to shutter Russia operations

Understand the impact of the Ukraine conflict from a cross-sector perspective with the Global Data Executive Briefing: Ukraine Conflict

Banking giants Goldman Sachs Group and JPMorgan have decided to wind down their businesses in Russia in response to the country’s military assault on Ukraine.

Goldman Sachs, whose total credit exposure to Russia was $650m at the end of 2021, has maintained a presence in the country for the past few years.

However, Russia does not account for a considerable portion of the bank’s global banking business, according to Bloomberg.

Goldman Sachs in an email to the news agency said: “Goldman Sachs is winding down its business in Russia in compliance with regulatory and licensing requirements.

“We are focused on supporting our clients across the globe in managing or closing out pre-existing obligations in the market and ensuring the well-being of our people.”

Goldman Sachs has been moving its employees in Moscow to Dubai after its staff asked to work from a different location owing to the escalating tensions in the country in the wake of the Ukraine invasion.

Meanwhile, JPMorgan is restricting its activities in Russia, where it employs less than 100 staffs, according to a separate Bloomberg report.

The New York-based bank is said to have limited direct exposure to Russia.

JPMorgan said in the statement: “Current activities are limited, including helping global clients address and close out pre-existing obligations; managing their Russia-related risk; acting as a custodian to our clients; and taking care of our employees.”

The moves by JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs are expected to put pressure on more Wallstreet banks to follow the suit and exit Russia to further alienate the country financially.

Meanwhile, a recent report by Bloomberg said that European asset managers are seeking regulatory nod to use side-pocketing practice to safeguard their Russia-linked portfolios from tumbling into losses.

The model allows asset managers to set up a vehicle to hold assets that are too risky and illiquid to handle.

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