Sberbank Clients in Slovenia Facing Problems, Gorenjska Banka Halts Takeover of Subsidiary

By , 28 Feb 2022, 14:20 PM Business
Sberbank Clients in Slovenia Facing Problems, Gorenjska Banka Halts Takeover of Subsidiary Photo: Sberbank Facebook

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STA, 28 February 2022 - As transactions with the Slovenian subsidiary of Russian bank Sberbank have been suspended, there are difficulties with welfare payments to Sberbank clients. The Labour Ministry said that some 100 transfers of child benefits had been rejected, and difficulties with other transfers are also expected. 

Sanctions on Russia Leave Sberbank in Slovenia with Limited Operations until Wednesday

The ministry said on Monday that it had been informed by the Public Payments Administration that around 100 payments of child benefits to clients of Slovenia's Sberbank had bounced.

"Transfers for other rights paid by the Ministry of Labour, the Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities are also expected to be rejected," the ministry added in a press release.

The ministry is looking for a solution for the rejected transfers to be re-transferred and is compiling a list of all Sberbank clients, who would be notified by social work centres to report a new transaction account.

The business newspaper Finance has meanwhile reported that the Pension and Disability Insurance Institute (ZPIZ) has managed to transfer pensions to 4,273 pensioners who hold an account in Sberbank.

Finance has also reported that the clients of Sberbank who are employed in state administration have already been urged to open a transaction account in another bank by Friday so that they could receive their wages.

According to the newspaper, such a recommendation has also been issued by some private employers.

The Slovenian central bank said today that, as a consequence of sanctions against Russia, the operation of Sberbank in Slovenia had been temporarily limited to card transactions.

Other services will be unavailable at least until Wednesday, and branch offices closed. Withdrawals and payments are limited to EUR 400 per day.

Slovenia'a Sberbank announced that "in light of recent geopolitical events", a significant outflow of client funds had been recorded in a very short time.

It added that the limited operation was a temporary and "rather drastic measure" that was aimed at protecting the interests of clients and employees from possible additional effects of existing and new sanctions.

Gorenjska Banka Halts Takeover of Sberbank Slovenija

STA, 28 February 2022 - It is not viable to proceed with the acquisition of the Slovenian subsidiary of Sberbank in the current situation, Gorenjska Banka said on Monday after the former's operation was limited in the wake of sanctions against Russia. Gorenjska Banka noted it had not assumed any contractual obligations in the acquisition process so far.

Gorenjska Banka, the Slovenian bank owned by the Serbian AIK Banka, signed an agreement to acquire the Slovenian subsidiary of Russia's Sberbank in November last year.

The appropriate way to salvage the subsidiary to ensure smooth operations for its clients will be determined by Slovenia's central bank, a press release from Gorenjska Banka reads.

Gorenjska Banka meanwhile continues to operate as an independent, autonomous banking institution, ensuring the safety and reliability of banking services both domestically and internationally, the release adds.

Under last year's deal, Gorenjska Banka, AIK and the AEC group - the umbrella holding company of the business system of Serbian businessman Miodrag Kostić - also agreed with the Russian owners to acquire another five Sberbank subsidiaries in the region, including in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Hungary.

Sberbank has been present in Slovenia for ten years and is the ninth largest bank in the country. The Slovenian subsidiary posted a pre-tax profit of EUR 1.12 million at the end of 2020. The bank's capital adequacy ratio was 19.8% and it had a balance sheet total of EUR 1.84 billion.

It is the successor of Volksbank, which had been present in Slovenia since 1993. It moved from Austrian ownership to Russian ownership in 2012, and until recent developments, it was expected that its new owners would come from Serbia.

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