Financial industry titans join McDonald’s and Coca-Cola in halting business operations in Russia as Ukraine’s death toll mounts and millions of refugees flee.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. has joined Goldman Sachs Group Inc. in withdrawing from Russia in response to the country’s invasion of Ukraine last month.
JPMorgan, the largest US bank, is currently engaged in limited activities in the country, the New York-based company said in a statement on Thursday. Goldman Sachs said it plans to close its operations there.
The titans of the financial industry join those in other sectors, including McDonald’s Corp. and Coca-Cola Co., which have already said they will halt business operations in the nation as Ukraine’s death toll mounts and millions of refugees flee. The measures will further isolate Russia, a nation of 144 million people and the world’s 11th largest economy.
“Current activities are limited, including helping global clients address and settle pre-existing obligations; manage your risk related to Russia; act as a custodian for our clients; and take care of our employees,” JPMorgan said in the statement.
JPMorgan’s direct exposure to Russia is small. The nation was not included among the company’s top 20 exposures outside the US, according to a regulatory filing last month. The bank’s workforce in the country is around 100, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Goldman has maintained a presence in Russia in recent years, but the country does not represent a significant part of its global banking business. At the end of 2021, the company’s total credit exposure to Russia was $650 million, most of which was linked to non-sovereign counterparties or borrowers.
“We are focused on supporting our clients around the world in managing or settling pre-existing market obligations and ensuring the well-being of our people,” New York-based Goldman said in a statement Thursday.
Goldman has already been moving some of its Moscow-based staff to Dubai, in response to requests from some of its staff in Russia to work from a different location.
Visa Inc. and Mastercard Inc. have also suspended their operations in Russia. Each of the credit card giants gets about 4% of the net income from businesses linked to the country.
Citigroup Inc.’s roughly 3,000 workers there give it by far the largest presence of any major US bank in Russia. The company said Wednesday that it is evaluating operations there. It previously announced efforts to exit its consumer business there, and is now operating it “on a more limited basis given current circumstances and obligations,” Edward Skyler, executive vice president of global public affairs, said in a statement.
Potential takers in Citigroup’s Russian retail operation are now subject to sanctions imposed by the US government, adding another hurdle to the planned sale. It said it had about $9.8 billion in loans, assets and other exposures tied to Russia, local companies and their counterparties, as well as the Bank of Russia, as of the end of 2021.