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Finance Minister Šircelj: The Whole Process of Saving the Slovenian Subsidiary of Sberbank Was Carried Out Professionally and Quickly – in Only Two Days and Nights!

By: UKOM

The Slovenian subsidiary of Sberbank was bought by NLB bank on Tuesday, and Sberbank’s customers can now access their money and banking services. In addition, all business relationships of both savers and borrowers at the bank have been maintained. Minister of Finance, Andrej Šircelj, MSc, said that the entire procedure was carried out professionally and quickly, in two days and nights. The stability and security of the financial system are guaranteed. “I want to thank the Bank of Slovenia, the European Central Bank, the Single Resolution Board and the European Commission,” the Minister thanked those involved. 

Due to Russia’s military attack on Ukraine, the European Union has adopted sanctions that are largely focused on the financial sector and also affect the banking system. The European Central Bank and the Single Resolution Board have decided to close the Vienna-based Sberbank Europa AG bank group. The Bank of Slovenia also officially confirmed on Tuesday that the Slovenian subsidiary of Sberbank is now owned by the Nova ljubljanska banka (New Ljubljana Bank – NLB), and the shares have already been transferred. With this, Sberbank Slovenia’s liquidity is ensured by NLB, which also means that the guarantee scheme will not be implemented. The Bank of Slovenia also emphasised that all business relationships have been maintained – both for savers and for those who have taken out loans with Sberbank. The transfer of invoices has not yet happened, as this is practically impossible in the information sense. However, this will not be a problem because our largest banking group is providing liquidity to Sberbank. Minister of Finance Andrej Šircelj, MSc, said that the entire procedure was carried out professionally and quickly, in two days and nights, and pointed out that stability and security of the financial system were guaranteed.

On Wednesday, the President of the Management Board of the NLB bank, Blaž Brodnjak, welcomed the clients of Sberbank in Slovenia to the NLB Group. “There is no longer any reason for concern, no reason to open accounts with other banks or transfer assets to other banks,” he said in a statement for the press. “These clients’ access to their money is once again unhindered,” wrote the newspaper Finance. NLB will first change the name of the bank that was Russian owned before, and then gradually integrate the bank into NLB. Only at the end of this procedure will the bank accounts be transferred to NLB. “We will provide as much money as necessary, but we are sure that from now on, there will be no rush anymore,” said Brodnjak. The exclusion of Sberbank d.d. by the Bank of Slovenia that happened on the 28th of February 2022 has expired. Sberbank is operating again in the TARGET2 system and the BIPS payment system, just as it did before the temporary exclusion, announced the Government of the Republic of Slovenia.

“NLB will continue to operate normally, with additional 12 branches and 400 employees – Sberbank no longer exists in Slovenia. The sanctions are working – the purchase price has been frozen. Savers and companies have not lost a single euro – and all of this was done without using any taxpayers’ money,” added Minister Šircelj.

According to the Slovenian Press Agency, nothing has changed for Sberbank employees either, and on Wednesday, they returned to their regular jobs. For the time being, the Management Board of Sberbank enjoys the trust of the NLB bank, so no immediate interventions in the Management Board are planned. However, NLB will appoint a new Supervisory Board of Sberbank as soon as possible through the General Assembly. With the merger of Sberbank with NLB, NLB will once again become the leading bank in Slovenia in terms of total assets. The President of the Management Board of the NLB bank also said that he is quite proud of the fact that at one time, it was NLB that needed help, but now it is helping others.

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