31 Mar 2023 14:48

UAE Central Bank cancels local MTS-Bank branch license

MOSCOW. March 31 (Interfax) - The Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates has canceled the license of the local branch of MTS Bank , the regulator said in a statement on its website.

The bank's operations will be terminated within six months under the supervision of the local regulator.

This decision was made after considering possible options regarding the new status of MTS Bank, as well as taking into account the sanctions risks associated with the bank, the report says.

At the end of February, MTS Bank entered the US and UK sanctions lists.

During the period of liquidation, the branch will be prohibited from opening new accounts and conducting transactions, except for the repayment of previous obligations.

The fact that MTS Bank received a license to operate in the UAE became known in early February, a few weeks before the imposition of sanctions against it. MTS Bank became the first foreign bank in several years to obtain a license in the UAE, the Financial Times noted. The decision to issue a license to a bank that at that time was not on Western sanctions lists was meant to meet the growing demand for financial services from citizens who had left Russia, the Financial Times was told.

At the end of 2021, MTS-Bank ranked 31st in terms of assets in the Interfax-100 ranking. The bank is owned by the telecom company MTS, 42.085% of which is owned by AFK Sistema .