Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Chart of the Day
15 February 2022

Whose banks are most at risk if Russia invades Ukraine?

Italian and French banks are owed $25bn by Russia.

By Katharine Swindells

Italy, France, Austria and the US are among the countries most financially exposed if Russia invades Ukraine, all with over $10bn in outstanding claims on Russia.

Figures from the Bank of International Settlements show that, as of the third quarter of 2021, Italian and French banks were the most exposed, both with over $25bn in outstanding debts.

Reuters reported last week that a number of European banks are withdrawing from Russian deals, and those with subsidiaries in Russia are preparing for possible sanctions.

International lenders have significantly decreased their exposure to Russia since Moscow’s annexation of Crimea in 2014. The US currently has outstanding claims of just under $15bn, less than half the figure in 2013, when it was the country’s second-largest lender.

The industry’s biggest fear is that Russia is banned from Swift, the system for international financial transfers, as Iran was a decade ago, which would be catastrophic for the repayment of international debts.

Sign up for The New Statesman’s newsletters Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. A handy, three-minute glance at the week ahead in companies, markets, regulation and investment, landing in your inbox every Monday morning. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.

Content from our partners
Is your business ready for corporate climate reporting?
How do we secure the hybrid office?
How materials innovation can help achieve net zero and level-up the UK
Topics in this article: ,