U.S. banks will keep a toe in Russia despite wind-downs

U.S. banks will keep a toe in Russia despite wind-downs

Several of Wall Street’s biggest banks are planning on keeping a limited presence and holding on to banking licenses in Russia for the foreseeable future, even as they wind down their broader operations in the country, sources at those banks said.

Citigroup Inc (C.N), JPMorgan Chase & Co (JP.N) and Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) – the three Wall Street banks with the biggest Russian exposures – have said in the past few days that they plan to pull back their businesses in Russia following the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

The banks will continue to have staff and operations on the ground as they work to extricate themselves and some of their clients from contractual obligations, the sources say.

Even when that work is done, however, they are likely to hang on to their banking licenses in the hope that the businesses can be rebuilt at a later date, sources at two of the banks said.

“They are not going to cut and run when there are potential opportunities when this gets resolved,” said Eric Schiffer, CEO at California-based private equity firm Patriarch Organization and a specialist in risk management strategy.