Russia's Gazprombank says U.S. banks to stop servicing its dollar correspondent accounts


This content was produced in Russia where the law restricts coverage of Russian military operations in Ukraine

MOSCOW, Jan 24 (Reuters) - Russian state-owned lender Gazprombank said on Tuesday two U.S. banks, JP Morgan Chase and BNY Mellon, had decided to stop servicing its correspondent accounts in U.S. dollars.

Banks can agree bilaterally to set up correspondent accounts, which enable them to operate more freely in other currencies or across jurisdictions where they have a more limited presence.

The two U.S. banks did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

“Due to the unilateral decision of two U.S. banks, JP Morgan Chase Bank and Bank of New York Mellon, the servicing of correspondent accounts in dollars will be terminated,” Gazprombank said in a statement on Telegram.

“We ask you not to use Gazprombank for U.S. dollar transfers, starting from Jan. 27 inclusive.”

It was not immediately clear why the decision had been taken at this time.

Sweeping Western sanctions have hit Russia’s financial sector since Moscow sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine 11 months ago. Gazprombank was directly targeted, though not as severely as some other lenders.

In March, Russia forced European customers to open rouble bank accounts with Gazprombank and pay in Russian currency if they wanted to continue receiving Russian gas. President Vladimir Putin tweaked that decree late last year, but foreign buyers must still pay for Russian gas in roubles. (Reporting by Elena Fabrichnaya Writing by Alexander Marrow Editing by Mark Potter)