26 Feb 2024 15:52

SPB Bank to consider changes to its strategy for unlocking client assets in connection with US sanctions

MOSCOW. Feb 26 (Interfax) - Feb 26 (Interfax) - Lawyers at the of St. Petersburg Exchange settlement depository are studying the situation in connection with OFAC's decision on Friday to include it in the sanctions list, including possible changes to its strategy for unlocking client assets, the communications department of St. Petersburg Bank told reporters.

"Currently, lawyers from St. Petersburg Bank and international legal consultants who specialize in sanctions are studying the situation. They will also study possible changes to the strategy for unlocking client assets that was previously presented. Based on the results of the analysis and negotiations with counterparties, St. Petersburg Bank will report on the results and discuss its procedure for further actions," a representative of the depositary said.

He said that St. Petersburg Bank has been under US restrictions since November 2, 2023, when sanctions were introduced against its parent company, St. Petersburg Exchange. "Thus, after today's OFAC decision, the sanctions status of St. Petersburg Bank has not changed, but the legal grounds for its being on the sanctions list have changed," the representative said.

OFAC (Office of Foreign Assets Control, the division of the US Treasury Department responsible for sanctions enforcement) on Friday added St. Petersburg Bank to its sanctions list. The exchange itself was included in the list on November 2, 2023.

After the introduction of sanctions, trading in foreign securities on the St. Petersburg Stock Exchange was suspended, and investor assets were blocked. The exchange said that foreign counterparties, including those from friendly jurisdictions, suspended interaction with the trading platform due to fears of liability for violating US sanctions , including the application of secondary sanctions.

St. Petersburg Bank, which accounts for the foreign securities and foreign currency funds of trading participants and their clients, sent OFAC an asset release strategy in early January. As reported, it also included withdrawing St. Petersburg Bank from its control of the St. Petersburg Exchange by reducing its share in the exchange's charter capital and the issuance of a license allowing for the release of client assets. After the introduction of US sanctions against the exchange, investors were blocked from their securities, valued at about $3 billion.