Goldman Sachs Becomes First Wall Street Giant to Exit Russia

Mandatory Credit: Photo by JUSTIN LANE/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock (12765503d)A sign for the bank Goldman Sachs on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York, New York, USA, on 18 January 2022.

Goldman Sachs is exiting Russia, representing the first major bank to do so, three weeks after the war against Ukraine started.

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In an emailed statement to GOBankingRates, a Goldman Sachs spokesperson said that “we are focused on supporting our clients across the globe in managing or closing out pre-existing obligations in the market and ensuring the well-being of our people.”

While the bank has maintained a presence in Russia in recent years, the country doesn’t amount to a meaningful portion of its global banking business. At the end of 2021, the firm’s total credit exposure to Russia was $650 million, most of which was tied to non-sovereign counterparties or borrowers, Bloomberg reported.

“In our role as market-maker standing between buyers and sellers, we are helping our clients reduce their risk in Russian securities which trade in the secondary market, not seeking to speculate,” New York-based Goldman Sachs said in a statement to Bloomberg.

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Meanwhile, another banking giant, Citigroup, said on March 9 that it is continuing its previously announced efforts to exit its consumer banking business in Russia.

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“As we work toward that exit, we are operating that business on a more limited basis given current circumstances and obligations,” Edward Skyler, Executive Vice President, Global Public Affairs, said in a statement on the bank’s website. “We are also supporting our corporate clients in Russia, including many American and European multi-national corporations who we are helping as they suspend or unwind their business. With the Russian economy in the process of being disconnected from the global financial system as a consequence of the invasion, we continue to assess our operations in the country.”

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About the Author

Yaël Bizouati-Kennedy is a full-time financial journalist and has written for several publications, including Dow Jones, The Financial Times Group, Bloomberg and Business Insider. She also worked as a vice president/senior content writer for major NYC-based financial companies, including New York Life and MSCI. Yaël is now freelancing and most recently, she co-authored  the book “Blockchain for Medical Research: Accelerating Trust in Healthcare,” with Dr. Sean Manion. (CRC Press, April 2020) She holds two master’s degrees, including one in Journalism from New York University and one in Russian Studies from Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France.
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