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Will U.S. and EU Sanctions Affect the Georgian Branch of the Russian “VTB Bank”?

As it  is known, the U.S. and EU announced sanctions against several Russian state banks, among them “VTB Bank”, which has a branch in Georgia.

Whether sanctions will have an impact on the Georgian representation?

At this stage, the representatives of “VTB-Georgia” do not make any comments about it.

Georgian experts have expressed their assumptions about it.

According to the expert Roman Gotsiridze, any complications cannot be expected in the short term.

“In the short term,”VTB Georgia” is unlikely to be affected. I mean  1-2 years. But over time, if the sanctions continue, or even  are further  tightened, of course,  there will be problems. The bank will have to seek new sources of funding, review the portfolio. Furthermore, it is unclear whether the Georgian branch will receive financial assistance from the central office, as because of their problems, the central bank’s management might have no time for  the Georgian branch. In any case, I see no prospects of development of the bank until  the sanctions are in force, “- said the expert.

According to Director of the “First Credit Union” Givi Korinteli, it is difficult to predict what will happen in the future.

It is possible that statements about  sanctions will be only political, and there will be  no real consequences. We should not expect that because of the current situation, the central office of the bank will decide to close the branches, as these banks are very active and successful. And it is very important to understand what sanctions exactly include. The banking sector is a complex business. a ban can be imposed, but a possibility to find some loopholes still remains. In the long term, we cannot predict anything in this regard, although it is clear that if the sanctions continue for several years, thennot only “VTB” will suffer but the entire Russian banking system.

The NGO “Society and banks” believes that sanctions against VTB will not affect the Georgian clients, as the Georgian branch has  enough equity, moreover, “VTB Georgia” is an independent financial and legal entity.

“At this stage, the bank’s customers have  no reason to panic. They can easily cooperate with the bank. Though, of course, over time sanctions  will have  some impact, “- the organization states.