Change language:
Image
Ukrainas karogs

Frequently asked questions related to the Russian invasion of Ukraine

Paragraphs

At the moment, when there is a lot of uncertainty about the further development of geopolitical events, we would like to emphasize that SEB Latvia continues to operate as before. At the same time, we are aware that there are many unclear questions about the impact of this conflict on Latvia and its economy, so we have prepared question and answer material which will be updated according to current events and the most frequent questions from customers.

Execution of transactions – Russia and Belarus

Starting on June 1, 2022, SEB will terminate payments to / from Russia and Belarus in all currencies.

This decision has made due to risks related to the war Ukraine, as well as an increasing number of sanctions imposed on Russia and Belarus.

May 31, 2022, will be the last day to make and receive payments to / from Russia and Belarus. Standing orders will be automatically terminated.

After the date mentioned certain exemptions will only be possible if the payments are made / received to ensure critical state functions or to receive pensions. 

More information here.

Due to Mastercard’s announcement of the discontinuation of its network services in Russia and Belarus, currently it is not possible to use SEB payment cards in Russia and Belarus for paying in stores and withdrawing cash from ATMs.

SEB will no longer issue or send new or renewed Mastercard payment cards to customers in Russia and Belarus. 

According to the announcements by Mastercard and VISA, it is not possible to pay with Mastercard and VISA cards issued by Russian and Belarussian banks at Latvian POS terminals, withdraw money from ATMs and online stores.

List of banks with which settlements are prohibited in all currencies. The restriction also applies to subsidiaries regardless of their country of residence. Taking into account additional restrictions from correspondent banks, there might be also problems with making payments to other banks.

Russian banks:

  • Alfa Bank, BIC: ALFARUMM
  • Bank Otkritie Financial Corporation, BIC: JSNMRUMM; RUDLRUMM, PTRBRUMM
  • Bank Rossii ehk Russian Central Bank, BIC: CBRFRUMM
  • Bank Rossiya, BIC: ROSYRU2P
  • Black Sea Bank for Development & reconstruction , BIC: BSTDGR2T
  • BM-Bank, BIC: MOSWRUM2, MOSWRUMM
  • Commercial Bank Agrosoyuz, BIC: AGSZRU33
  • Commercial Bank North Credit, BIC: NOCRRU21
  • Evrofinance Mosnarbank, BIC: EVRFRUMM
  • Eximbank, BIC: EXIRRUMM
  • Genbank, GEOORUMM Globexbank, BIC GLOBRUMM
  • Investcapitalbank, BIC: INAKRU41
  • IS Bank (Industrialny Sberegatelny Bank), BIC: RISBRUMM
  • Krasnodar Regional Investment Bank, BIC: KRRIRU22
  • MB Bank ehk MIR Business Bank, BIC: MRBBRUMM
  • Mosoblbank ehk Moskovskiy Oblastnoi Bank, BIC: MOBKRUMM
  • Novikombank, BIC: CNOVRUMM
  • Orient Express Bank ehk Vostochny Bank, BIC: DALVRU8X
  • Post Bank, BIC: POSBRUMM
  • Prominvestbank, BIC: PRMIRUMM
  • PSM ehk Promsvyazbank, BIC: PRMSRUMM
  • RFC Bank ehk Russian Financial Corporation, BIC: RFCBRUMM
  • RNCB ehk Russian National Commercial Bank, BIC: RNCORUMM
  • Rosgosstrakh, BIC: RUIDRUMM
  • Russian Financial Alliance Bank, BIC: MNGRRUMM
  • Russian Regional Development Bank, BIC: RRDBRUMM
  • Sberbank BIC: SABRRUMM
  • Sevastopolsky Morskoy Bank , BIC: MORKRUMM
  • SMP Bank ehk BANK SEVERNY MORSKOY PUT, BIC: SMBKRUMM
  • Sovcombank, BIC: OMRRUMM
  • Tempbank, BIC: TMJSRUMM
  • TSMRBANK ehk Bank Center for International Settlements, BIC: 044525059
  • VEB.RF ehk Vnescheconombank, BIC: BFEARUMM
  • VTB Bank, BIC: VTBRRUMM VVB, BIC: YARORU21
  • Dom RF, BIC: BDRFRUMM

 

Belorussian banks:

  • Alfa Bank (Belarus), BIC: ALFABY2X
  • Bank Belveb, BIC: BELBBY2X
  • Bank Dabrabyt, BIC: MMBNBY22
  • Belagroprombank, BIC: BAPBBY2X
  • Belinvestbank, BIC: BLBBBY2X
  • BPS-Sberbank, BIC: BPSBBY2X
  • Development Bank of the Republic of Belarus, BIC: BRRBBY2X
  • Minsk Transit Bank, BIC: MTBKBY22
  • VTB (Belarus), BIC: SLANBY22

 

Ukrainian banks:

  • Alfa Bank (Ukraine), BIC: ALFAUAUK
  • Bank Rublev, BIK: 044525253
  • BM-Bank, BIC: BMLTUAUK
  • Prominvestbank, BIC: UPIBUAU
  • Sberbank (Ukraine), BIC: SABRUAUK
  • Sevastopolsky Morskoy Bank , BIC: MORKUAUK
  • Taatta, BIC: TAAARU8Y
  • Verkhnevolzhskiy Commercial Bank, BIC: VVBKRU2Y

Execution of transactions – Ukraine

Restrictions are imposed only on payments to and from the Donetsk, Luhansk, and Crimean regions, which are subject to international restrictions.

Please note that payment processing may take a little longer due to additional verification.
 

All commissions that have been and will be charged by SEB for transfers* to Ukraine as of 24 February will be manually returned to customers during next working day.

However, please note that when making cross-border payments, correspondent banks may charge additional fees for processing transactions.

When choosing the type of commission OUR, the payer pays the commission fees applied by the correspondent bank. In turn, when choosing the type of commission SHA, the correspondent bank commissions are paid by the beneficiary (most often the commission is deducted from the transfer amount).

*100% discount is applied to SEB commissions to Ukraine for standard cross-border payments, which with SHA fee – 11.50 EUR, with OUR fee – 20 EUR.
 

Banks outside Ukraine, including SEB, have stopped participating in the Ukrainian foreign exchange market. Therefore, to exchange Ukrainian hryvnia for cash, please contact an exchange office. It is also recommended to exchange hryvnia to euros or US dollars, which are widely used throughout the world, before leaving Ukraine. 

If the receiving Ukrainian bank is connected to the network, it is possible to pay with an SEB card. 

Please note that in the current situation there may be problems due to lack of electricity or internet connection.
 

Yes, there are currently no restrictions on the use of VISA and Mastercard cards issued by Ukrainian banks.

For entrepreneurs

There are currently no exemptions for entrepreneurs regarding the basic needs or economic activities. However, Financial and Capital Market Commission have issued a general approval for credit institutions in relation to individuals, which allow, for example, the payment of wages in cases the employer is subject to sanctions.
 

It all depends on the scope of the restriction – if all credit institutions are disconnected from the SWIFT system, then payments will no longer be possible. On the other hand, if certain banks are disconnected, they will not be able to send orders through this system. In that case, customer partners may be able to find an alternative to bank payments.

It is currently known that some, but not all, Russian banks will be disconnected from the SWIFT system. Please find the information on the Financial and Capital Market Commission site, where the current sanctions and the most important information on their application are published.

Taking into account that the companies, which were also subject to the requirements to evaluate transactions and business partners, are also the subjects of the sanctions law, we recommend to assess business models and the need for cooperation with sanctioned countries, companies, and individuals.

Companies can contact the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the Financial and Capital Market Commission to ask for an in-depth explanation of the application of sanctions to business partners.

You can read more about what to consider regarding the new European Union sanctions against Russia and Belarus on the website of the Financial and Capital Market Commission (in Latvian). You can seek information about sanctions also on the Lursoft homepage, site “Sanctions Map” and the homepage of US Office of Foreign Assets Control

Pensions, savings and investments

Sanctions have been imposed on a number of Russian banks, which means that it will not be possible to make payments with these banks. At the same time, the regulation of sanctions envisages the possibility for the Financial and Capital Market Commission to issue permits for making payments if it is related to the provision of basic needs of persons (for example, receiving pensions, payment of state fees, medical expenses, etc.).

Currently it is difficult to comment on situations when pension or support is not received. According to the information provided by the Financial and Capital Market Commission there are currently many unknown aspects: 1) whether the Russian authorities will do their utmost to use financial institutions that are not subject to sanctions, 2) what will be the response of correspondent banks and whether there will be any possibilities to influence it, 3) what support will be provided by Latvian state institutions in cases when the resolution of questions takes longer.
 

Currently there are no restrictions on transactions in the Latvian securities market. At the same time the Financial and Capital Market Commission (FCMC) and the securities market organiser constantly follows the securities market, including its cyber security. The decision to suspend the trading at the Moscow stock exchange is a decision of the supervisor – the Central Bank of Russia. 

Restrictions related to sanctions, Moscow stock exchange and securities with Russian origin may be imposed by supervisors of different countries or market organisers (national stock exchanges), which constantly monitor the participants and events happening on the stock exchange.

FCMC advises to follow the public sources for latest information about the sanction’s imposing and the official information of the respective national stock exchange and supervising institution about additional restrictions to transactions of securities.
 

Due to the restrictions and risks arising from the Sanctions imposed on persons of the Russian Federation and Belarus, individuals who are citizens of Russia or Belarus or reside in Russia or Belarus and who, according to the information available to the bank, are not citizens of European Union (EU) countries or who do not have a residence permit in the EU, as well as business clients registered in the Russian Federation or Belarus will no longer be able to receive securities-related services or conduct securities transactions as of 12 April 2022. Mentioned persons have limited acquisition of securities (regardless of the time of their issue) in any way, incl. they may not buy, subscribe for or exchange securities, transfer them to an account with SEB or obtain them in any other way (including transfers of securities against payment and transfer of securities without cash settlement). Such customers are permitted to enter into transactions to reduce or eliminate open account balances with the bank, if this is permissible when considering international financial sanctions and the terms of service.

Starting from 28 March, trading with the SEB Eastern Europe Small and Mid Cap Fund shares has been partially resumed – according to the decision of the fund manager, transactions with selling of the fund's shares are possible. 
From 19 July, any transactions with this fund will no longer be possible.

More information is available on the Savings and investments section of our website.

Currently, SEB Investment Management and SEB Pension fund operate in the usual manner, in accordance with the long-term management strategy. Investments are made worldwide. Customers have no reason to worry. 

Under such circumstances, the financial markets are experiencing a temporary decline, which may reduce the value of 2nd and 3rd pension pillar savings in the short term. However, financial markets are cyclical, with drops always followed by increases. Participants of the 2nd and 3rd pension pillar plans are recommended to continue the chosen accumulation strategy. We would like to emphasize that pensions should be accumulated according to a long-term vision.

According to the current situation, 2nd and 3rd pension pillar plans have no direct investments in Russian market.

SEB Life and Pension Baltic SE and its investment funds currently operate in the usual manner, in accordance with a long-term management strategy. Customers have no reason to worry.

Given the events in Ukraine, there is a decline in financial markets around the world. As a result, the value of investment funds may also decline in the short term. Customers who create savings in life insurance with savings in investment funds are invited to continue the chosen savings strategy.

From the funds currently available to customers in life insurance with savings in investment funds, direct investments in Russia are made within 2 funds: SEB Emerging Markets Fund (0.87%) and SEB Global Exposure fund (0.11%).

SEB has clearly emphasised its position and actions in the near future - as soon as market conditions allow, it is planned to reduce the share of investments in Russia to a minimum. This will be done responsibly and in a controlled manner to protect the interests of all customers. After the changes, investments in Russia will be very close to 0%.

Other topics

Yes. We will offer the people of Ukraine, who are forced to leave their country due to the war started by Russia, the opportunity to become customers of SEB. In addition, we will not apply a cooperation assessment charge to Ukrainian refugees, and will provide daily banking services (current account, payment card and the internet bank) – the Basic plan – free of charge.

We will issue a free code calculator for the use of the internet bank.

To open an account with SEB, it is necessary to book an appointment at the branch and bring a valid identification document (passport or ID card) and a document containing the Latvian personal identification code: “Confirmation” regarding the assignment of a personal identification code or a Residence permit, or an identification document of a third-country resident.

After opening an account, we will make a payment card, which will be available at the customer’s chosen place and in the chosen method. 

Sanctions are imposed on specific individuals and legal entities, as well as on entire sectors, but not on all Russian citizens in general. The transactions of Russian citizens may be disrupted if they are customers of a bank subjected to sanctions, conduct transactions with a bank that is subjected to sanctions or engage in unauthorised transactions prohibited by the sanctions.

As the situation in Ukraine changes constantly, the discussions about broadening the scope of sanctions also continue. SEB constantly follows the news regarding sanctions, imposes them and informs the customers about it. 

Taking into account the condition of force majeure included in the insurance agreements, as well as the goal of minimizing risks, SEB līzings currently does not issue authorizations to the holders of leased cars to go to CIS countries and Ukraine.

We are relying on the analysis and statements of public officials that Latvia is safe and that no one is threatening our borders at the moment. Every systemically important bank in Latvia, including SEB, has its own crisis plan that will protect the bank's assets and liabilities. SEB is currently operating in the regular mode and customers have no reason to worry. During this period, we recommend that citizens be especially critical of information and rely only on reliable sources!

Providing support

  • In order to encourage donations in support of the inhabitants of Ukraine, we have cancelled the commission fee for our customers for money transfers on the “Ziedot.lv” portal, as well as for transfers in the internet bank to the “Ziedot.lv” SEB account. A bank sample can be used to make payments in the SEB internet bank.
  • SOS Children's Villages in Latvia is calling for help for Ukrainian children and families. Donations are channelled to provide support to families and children under the auspices of SOS Children's Villages in Ukraine.
  • Donations made to the Latvian Red Cross, via the International Committee of the Red Cross, go directly and most quickly to Ukraine to provide both practical help and financial assistance to the war victims. For donations you can use a bank sample in the internet bank or requisites:

    Beneficiary's name: Biedrība “Latvijas Sarkanais Krusts”
    Beneficiary’s account: LV28HABA0140J04577004
    Beneficiary’s reg.no.: 40008002279
    Description: Ukrainai
  • According to the Bank of Latvia, the National Bank of Ukraine has opened a special fund-raising account in support of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. In order to make the payment execution more easily, please use the details for payments in euros to the account of the German Central Bank (DEUTSCHE BUNDESBANK):

    BENEFICIARY: National Bank of Ukraine
    IBAN: DE05504000005040040066
    PURPOSE OF PAYMENT: for crediting account 47330992708
  • When making donations, please carefully select only trusted recipients, as fraudsters may still be active.