One Sanctioned Russian Bank Will Only Deal In Cash Now
One Russian bank under sanctions from the US and European nations is going back to the good old days.
Clients will have to physically walk up to a bank teller in order to withdraw cash.
Sobinbank announced on its official website that the bank will stop servicing bank cards, and will suspend its "SobinDirect" service starting January 31, 2015.
Although clients won't be able to use plastic anymore, the bank press release notes that they can "use all the usual banking services, even after the termination of services of cards."
Bank cards in Russia are basically analogous to Western debit cards (meaning you can only withdraw what is in your checking account.) But some distrustful Russians still prefer to deal in cash only, a person familiar with the matter told Business Insider.
This isn't the first change Sobinbank has made in the aftermath the western sanctions. Back in November, the bank stopped issuing new and reissuing expired cards.
And earlier in 2014, Sobinbank cut the number of branches in operation, although the exact number of units closed was not disclosed. In Moscow, only the headquarters are in operation, according to Vedomosti.
Bank Rossiya, which owns 100% of the shares of Sobinbank, was the first lender under the sanctions imposed by the US in March 2014. Immediately following that, Visa and Mastercard stopped providing services for payment transactions for clients of Bank Rossiya and Sobinbank. Sobinbank itself was sanctioned in April.
Back in 2000, Sobinbank was linked to a possible money laundering operation, although bank officials maintained that they knew nothing about the scheme.