(Reuters) – Russia’s top private lender Alfa Bank has given its brokerage clients until midnight on Monday to transfer foreign securities to another platform, explaining that sanctions had prevented it from moving assets to other brokerages on its clients’ behalf.
The United States imposed full blocking sanctions on Alfa Bank and Sberbank earlier this month, exerting pressure on Russia for what Moscow calls “a special military operation” in Ukraine.
Three financial market sources told Reuters earlier this month that fears of being targeted by Western sanctions were deterring Russian brokerages from helping some sanctioned banks.
“We are not planning to centrally transfer foreign securities of Alfa Bank clients to another brokerage,” Alfa Bank said in a message to clients on Sunday. “We have carefully analysed all scenarios and have come to the conclusion that this is not possible due to sanctions restrictions.”
The bank said clients had until 11:59 p.m. on Monday (2059 GMT) to apply to transfer securities to another brokerage.
Alfa Bank previously told Reuters it was looking for a brokerage that would obtain its clients’ accounts so they could continue trading freely, but that no decision had been made.
(Reporting by Reuters; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)