Credit Agricole suspends services in Russia as banks retreat

2 minute read

A Credit Agricole logo is seen outside a bank office in Reze near Nantes, France, May 12, 2021. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe/File Photo

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LONDON, March 22 (Reuters) - France's Credit Agricole (CAGR.PA) said on Tuesday it had suspended all services in Russia, joining a retreat by other international banks since Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.

Credit Agricole, which had previously stopped new financing for Russian companies, said in a statement it had contacted international corporate clients to begin suspending services.

The bank had previously said its exposure to Russia and Ukraine was around 6.4 billion euros ($7.05 billion) in on and off balance sheet items, but told investors that its 2021 dividend would not be impacted. read more

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Banks and investors have rushed to cut links to Russia in recent weeks, amid heavy Western sanctions against Moscow.

Credit Agricole added that its priority was helping to support its 2,400 employees in Ukraine, who were helping ensure essential banking activities continued despite being "struck at full force by the war".

The move comes a day after French rival BNP Paribas (BNPP.PA) said it had informed its corporate clients in Russia that it would no longer process their transactions after the end of month, after previously stopping new financing in Russia.

Ratings agency S&P Global said earlier it had suspended services of all products to customers in Russia and Belarus who are subject to sanctions. read more

Meanwhile, two thirds of funds in Luxembourg with heavy Russian exposure have been suspended since the Ukraine invasion, which Moscow has said is a "special military operation", the Grand Duchy's securities regulator said. read more

($1 = 0.9081 euros)

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Reporting by Iain Withers and Julien Ponthus, Additional reporting by Huw Jones, Editing by Jane Merriman and Alexander Smith

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