Citigroup, the American bank with the largest presence in Russia, said it would broaden its planned withdrawal from the country because of the war in Ukraine.
Citi, which announced plans last April to sell its Russian consumer division, will “expand the scope of that exit process to include other lines of business,” Edward Skyler, the bank’s executive vice president for global public affairs, said in a statement.
The bank will reduce its operations in Russia and unwind its exposure in the country, which includes consumer and corporate loans and other financial products.
“Due to the nature of banking and financial services operations, this decision will take time to execute,” Mr. Skyler wrote.
The bank will stop seeking new business or clients in Russia and is helping multinational corporations unwind their operations there, Mr. Skyler said. “We will continue to manage our existing regulatory commitments and our obligations to depositors, as well as support all of our employees during this very difficult time,” he said. The bank has about 3,000 employees in Russia.
Many global corporations have shunned Russia as a result of the invasion, which prompted Western governments to impose a raft of sanctions intended to cripple its economy. Goldman Sachs on Thursday became the first big American bank to say it would leave Russia. Hours later, JPMorgan Chase, the biggest bank in the United States, said it was winding down there, too.
American and Western banks largely stepped back from Russia in recent years, maintaining only limited operations to serve companies there, after President Vladimir V. Putin’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 prompted economic penalties from Western nations.
Citigroup had $9.8 billion of exposure to Russia at the end of 2021, including corporate and consumer loans and local government debt securities, according to a regulatory filing.