Russian connections result in bankruptcy for Dutch trade finance bank

Amsterdam Trade Bank (ATB) has been declared bankrupt by a Dutch court after the lender and its Russian parent were hit by sanctions imposed by the US and Britain in response to Russia’s assault on Ukraine.

A subsidiary of Russia’s Alfa Bank, ATB was established in 1994 to provide shipping, commodities and trade finance for transactions, mainly between small- and medium-sized enterprises in European countries and counterparties in former Soviet states.

Although it is part of a Russian group, ATB is an independent Dutch Bank that had already issued a statement saying it “strongly condemn[s] the invasion of Ukraine and it is a war that Russia must stop.”

Sanctions difficulties

But ATB was one of six of the group’s subsidiaries explicitly sanctioned on 7 April by Washington “for being owned or controlled by, or for having acted or purported to act for or on behalf of” Alfa Bank, on which the US imposed sanctions on 24 February.

“British and US sanctions have caused operational difficulties,” ATB said on its website.

The EU has not imposed sanctions on either ATB or Alfa Bank.

ATB had more than 23,000 private account holders, most of whom reside in the Netherlands but with another 6,000 in Germany, according to a statement issued on 22 April by De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB – Dutch central bank).

Deposit guarantee scheme

The central bank says it has activated the deposit guarantee scheme in respect of savers with ATB. The scheme insures personal accounts held in the Netherlands for up to €100,000 (US$105,000) or €25,000 for customers receiving investment services from the bank. Some ATB customers have already received their money.

A different procedure applies for ATB’s 6,000 foreign customers, most of whom reside in Germany. They will be able to submit the forms they have already received by email via the DNB website.


Categories: Trade Based Financial crimes News

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