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Important information for customers of SEB regarding the war in Ukraine

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How will the Russian invasion to Ukraine affect the business and private customers of SEB?


What is happening in Ukraine is a great tragedy for the whole world, causing great human suffering and loss of life. In addition, the effects of the war are already visible in both the global and private economies. We have therefore compiled answers to the most frequently asked questions right now.

As of 1 June , 2022, we have terminated payments to/from Russia and Belarus in all currencies. 

As of 3 June, 2022, the European Union imposed sanctions on the purchase, import, and transfer of petroleum products and crude oil from Russia. More information below.

If you have any further questions, please contact us from the Internet Bank menu item ‘Contact’ → ‘Letter to bank’, by email info@seb.ee, or call our customer support at 665 5100 or your client executive.

Restricted banks

List of banks with which settlements are prohibited in all currencies
The restriction also applies to subsidiaries regardless of their country of residence.

Russian banks, with which transactions are prohibited:

  • Alfa Bank, BIC: ALFARUMM
  • Bank Otkritie Financial Corporation, BIC: JSNMRUMM; RUDLRUMM, PTRBRUMM
  • Bank Rossii ehk Russian Central Bank, BIC: CBRFRUMM
  • Bank Rossiya, BIC: ROSYRU2P
  • Black Sea Bank for Development & reconstruction , BIC: BSTDGR2T 
  • BM-Bank, BIC: MOSWRUM2, MOSWRUMM
  • Commercial Bank Agrosoyuz, BIC: AGSZRU33 
  • Commercial Bank North Credit, BIC: NOCRRU21 
  • Evrofinance Mosnarbank, BIC: EVRFRUMM 
  • Eximbank, BIC: EXIRRUMM
  • Genbank, GEOORUMM 
  • Globexbank, BIC GLOBRUMM 
  • Investcapitalbank, BIC: INAKRU41
  • Investtradebank JSC, BIC: JSCVRUM2
  • IS Bank (Industrialny Sberegatelny Bank), BIC RISBRUMM 
  • Krasnodar Regional Investment Bank, BIC: KRRIRU22 
  • MB Bank ehk MIR Business Bank, BIC: MRBBRUMM 
  • Mosoblbank ehk Moskovskiy Oblastnoi Bank, BIC: MOBKRUMM 
  • Novikombank, BIC: CNOVRUMM
  • Orient Express Bank ehk Vostochny Bank, BIC: DALVRU8X 
  • Post Bank, BIC: POSBRUMM
  • Prominvestbank, BIC:  PRMIRUMM 
  • PSM ehk Promsvyazbank, BIC: PRMSRUMM
  • RFC Bank ehk Russian Financial Corporation, BIC: RFCBRUMM 
  • RNCB ehk Russian National Commercial Bank, BIC: RNCORUMM 
  • Rosgosstrakh, BIC: RUIDRUMM
  • Russian Financial Alliance Bank, BIC: MNGRRUMM 
  • Russian Regional Development Bank, BIC: RRDBRUMM
  • Sberbank BIC: SABRRUMM
  • Sevastopolsky Morskoy Bank , BIC: MORKRUMM 
  • SMP Bank ehk BANK SEVERNY MORSKOY PUT, BIC: SMBKRUMM 
  • Sovcombank, BIC: OMRRUMM
  • Tempbank, BIC: TMJSRUMM 
  • Transkapitalbank PJSC, BIC: TJSCRUMM 
  • TSMRBANK ehk Bank Center for International Settlements, BIK 044525059
  • VEB.RF ehk Vnescheconombank, BIC: BFEARUMM
  • VTB Bank, BIC: VTBRRUMM
  • VVB, BIC: YARORU21
  • Dom RF, BIC: BDRFRUMM
  • Moscow Industrial Bank PJSCB, BIC: MINNRUMM

Belarusian banks, with which transactions are prohibited:
•    Bank Belveb, BIC: BELBBY2X
•    Bank Dabrabyt, BIC: MMBNBY22
•    Belagroprombank, BIC: BAPBBY2X
•    Belinvestbank, BIC: BLBBBY2X
•    BPS-Sberbank, BIC: BPSBBY2X 
•    Development Bank of the Republic of Belarus, BIC: BRRBBY2X
•    Minsk Transit Bank, BIC: MTBKBY22
•    VTB (Belarus), BIC: SLANBY22 

Ukrainian banks, with which transactions are prohibited: ​​​​
•    Bank Rublev, BIK: 044525253 
•    BM-Bank, BIC: BMLTUAUK 
•    Prominvestbank, BIC: UPIBUAU
•    Sberbank (Ukraine), BIC: SABRUAUK 
•    Sevastopolsky Morskoy Bank , BIC: MORKUAUK 
•    Taatta, BIC: TAAARU8Y 
•    Verkhnevolzhskiy Commercial Bank, BIC: VVBKRU2Y 

The Financial Intelligence Unit has re-analysed its position on ABH Holdings S.A. (Luxembourg) and regarding the companies belonging to the so-called Alfa-Bank group and came to the conclusion that due to the transfer of the shares of G. Khan and A. Kuzmichev to A. Kosogov, less than 50% of the companies of the Alfa-Bank group are now owned by sanctioned persons. The Financial Intelligence Unit has also re-evaluated the control criteria and control of Alfa-Bank group companies by sanctioned persons has not been identified.
As a result, the European Union sanction will no longer be applied to the transactions of Alfa-Bank and its group banks, and natural and legal persons who applied the corresponding financial sanction must stop applying the sanction within the meaning of Article 2 of EU Council Regulation No. 269/2014. 
 
The position of the Financial Intelligence Unit is available on the website.

Alfa-Bank (Russia) is additionally sanctioned by OFAC, due to which settlement with them is still not possible. As SEB no longer offers payment services to Russia and Belarus from 1 June, it is still not possible to settle with Alfa-Bank (Belarus).


 

As of March 26, 2022, payments related to Sberbank and Sberbank's subsidiaries cannot be made through SEB Pank.

  • Payments, which are initiated by SEB customer before March 25, 2022 at 17:00 will be processed as usual.
  • All payments, which receive to SEB Pank before March 26, 2022 will also be processed. If the payment has been initiated from Sberbank or Sberbank's subsidiary before March 26, 2022, but arrives at SEB Pank on or after March 26, will be rejected.
  • From March 26, all payments to or received from Sberbank or Sberbank's subsidiaries will be rejected.

 

From 14 June, the following Russian banks have been excluded from the SWIFT system:

  • Sberbank
  • Credit Bank of Moscow
  • Joint Stock Company Russian Agricultural Bank, JSC Rosselkhozbank

 

From 12 March, the following Russian banks have been excluded from the SWIFT system:

  • Bank Otkritie
  • Novikombank
  • Promsvyazbank
  • Bank Rossiya
  • Sovcombank
  • VNESHECONOMBANK (VEB)
  • VTB BANK


From 20 March, the following Belarusian banks have been excluded from the SWIFT system:

  • Belagroprombank
  • Bank Dabrabyt
  • Development Bank of the Republic of Belarus
  • The circumstances surrounding the exclusion of Russia from the SWIFT system will be specified when imposing restrictions.
  • The exclusion of certain banks from the SWIFT system means that those banks will no longer be able to access international markets.

Yes, an overview of the restrictions on Belarus can be found in the article: Restrictions on payments related to sanctions against Belarus | SEB

Card payments and transfers

As of May 3, 2022, it is not possible to make or receive payments in Russian rubles (RUB). Until May 31 (including), we provide financial services to Russia and Belarus in other currencies (i.e EUR and USD). 

The last day to make payments to Russia and Belarus will be May 31, 2022 (including).
If after this day you wish to make payment(s) to Russia and / or Belarus, we suggest you to seek possibilities to make such transactions in another financial institution.
Please take into account, that standing orders will be automatically stopped on this day as well.
 
The last day to receive payments from Russia and Belarus will be May 31, 2022 (including).
If after this day you should receive payment(s) from Russia and / or Belarus, we will reject the payment and return the funds to the sender. We recommend rescheduling your payments in a timely manner, as transactions with these countries may take longer than usual.
 

Yes, we continue to accept pension payments from Russian and Belarusian banks, but only from the banks that are not sanctioned or otherwise restricted. We note that correspondent banks may also impose restrictions on Russian and Belarusian banks.

It is not possible to withdraw cash from all the ATMs of the above-mentioned banks or with the bank cards of these banks.

If a customer is making a card transaction at a merchant who is a client of a sanctioned bank, the transactions will be unsuccessful. This applies to making transactions at card payment terminals and ATMs as well as to online purchases. If a card transaction is successful, the merchant was not a client of a sanctioned bank. Ukrainian banks are not on the list of sanctioned banks, so no errors should occur on SEB’s side of the process, but settlements with the Ukrainian branches of sanctioned Russian or Belarusian banks is prohibited.

Considering the situation in the world and the increased desire and need to help Ukraine, all SEB payments to Ukraine, that are initiated in our branch, are free of charge. If you wish to make a payment to Ukraine in your internet bank then a payment fee is applied.

As payments in euros are transferred the fastest we recommend to prefer make payments in euros. 

If SEB has determined that an incoming payment must be subject to a freeze in accordance with the sanctions regime, the bank will apply a financial sanction in accordance with subsection 14 (1) of the International Sanctions Act, which obliges the bank to freeze the funds and economic resources received from a subject of international sanctions. The bank is obliged to freeze the funds even if it has an unresolved suspicion that the person should be subject to sanctions. This may be the case, for example, if the person from or through whom the payment is received is not sanctioned themselves but may be under the control of a sanctioned person.

After freezing the funds, the bank will notify the Financial Intelligence Unit and the customer. The Financial Intelligence Unit will verify the lawful application of the financial sanction within ten working days and then provide the bank with feedback within two working days.
If the Financial Intelligence Unit finds that the suspicion of the bank does not have sufficient grounds, there is no need to continue to apply the financial sanction and the bank will release the payment and inform the customer thereof.

If the Financial Intelligence Unit finds that the financial sanction must be applied, the transaction will remain frozen. In this case, the customer has the right to contact the Financial Intelligence Unit and submit an application in accordance with section 17 of the International Sanctions Act to request the verification of the legality of applying the sanction. The Financial Intelligence Unit will have ten working days to process the application, after which it will inform the subject of the financial sanction or the person concerned of the exact scope and content of the measures taken against them within two working days, as well their legal basis, the starting date, the procedure for contesting, and the grounds and procedures for granting exemptions.

Persons whose transactions are frozen may, in certain cases, apply to the Financial Intelligence Unit as the competent authority for the release of the funds if the regulation imposing the financial sanction and the circumstances of the transaction so permit. Such an exception applies, for example, under Article 6 of Council Regulation (EU) 269/2014, where a person listed in Annex I to the Regulation is required to make a payment under a contract or agreement concluded before the date of their sanctioning.
The application can be submitted to the Financial Intelligence Unit via the following email address: info@fiu.ee .
For more information, visit the website of the Financial Intelligence Unit.
 

Currency exchange

As of 3rd May 2022, we have terminated quotations for the Russian ruble (RUB) and providing financial services in rubles - including initiating and receiving payments, as well as converting RUB to other currencies upon the client's order.

Investments and securities

Due to risks related to sanctions imposed on Russia, the following is not possible via SEB starting from 8 March 2022: providing transactions and services related to securities issued in Russia or issued outside of Russia but connected to Russia or legal persons in Russia, incl. purchases, providing investment services or assistance regarding their issuance, and any other form of trade therewith, except for decreasing and liquidating one’s position in cases where this is permissible, considering international sanctions.

As of 3rd May 2022, we have terminated the quotations for the Russian ruble (RUB) and providing financial services in rubles:

The Bank will aim to support sale of securities traded in RUB on the best-effort basis, whenever selling of those securities will become possible. We will do our best to convert any sales proceeds in RUB to EUR and credit to customer’s account. 

For additional information on securities, please contact our Markets team at equity@seb.ee.

Although the Russian stock market lost about half of its value before the suspension, Russian companies make up a very small part of the stock indices in the world. World equities have been in the red at around 7% since the beginning of the year as at 28 February, which is not extraordinary, especially given the rise of more than 25% last year.

There are no direct investments in SEB's pension funds in Russia, Belarus, or Ukraine. The risk of these countries is marginal through other funds, but the share of such risk remains in the range of 0.12% –1.06%, depending on the fund. The performance of the assets and currencies of Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine has a minimal impact on the customers of our pension funds. We are carefully monitoring the lists of sanctioned companies so as not to fund companies on the banned lists, and we demand the same from other fund managers in whose products we have invested.

The risk level of the pension fund should correspond to both the age of the person and their risk tolerance. This is to avoid a situation where a person chooses a fund that is too risky for their age and risk tolerance and then changes it and chooses a less risky one due to panic. It is worth remembering that saving for your pension is a marathon and you should look beyond the current situation. If in doubt, we recommend that you contact a bank employee and seek advice.

As at 31 January 2022, the following funds invest in Russia and Ukraine:

Remember that the new sanctions may also bring about changes in the funds.

Military conflicts put the patience of even experienced investors to the test. It is very important to remember that investing is a long-term process and that major fluctuations in the markets must be taken into account during times like this.

We recommend that you stay calm and not make rash decisions based on emotions. Market fluctuations are normal and you should not react to every change when you are saving money for the long term. We recommend that you contact an SEB employee before making a decision.

POS terminals

Refund transactions are not allowed to the cardholders if their cards are issued by the bank which is under sanctions.

If transactions was done with card issued by the bank under sanctions, reversal (return of money) is not possible. More information will be added later.

If transactions were done before activation of the sanctions with card issued by the bank under sanctions please contact your client executive for additional information.

After activation of sanctions all such purchases are declined. General decline error message will be displayed.

If the bank is sanctioned, the sanctions are also applied to its foreign branches.

Please note! In accordance with the interpretation of the European Commission of 26 August 2022, paying for sanctioned goods imported from Russia is prohibited after the ban resulting from sanctions took effect and the transition periods ended when the performance of prior contracts was allowed even if the goods reached Estonia at a time when the sanction on goods did not apply. 

However, receiving payments for sanctioned goods exported to Russia is permitted after the end of the transition period if the export of goods to Russia was allowed at the time of exporting them.
 

Financial sector

  • Lending, investment services, and securities transactions with the Russian state and its government, the Central Bank of Russia, and persons and companies acting on their behalf;
  • public funding or financial assistance for trade or investment in Russia;
  • accepting deposits of more than 100,000 euros from Russian persons (Russian citizens, residents, legal entities);
  • settlements with securities and instruments with major Russian banks and companies supporting the Russian state is restricted;
  • central depositories are prohibited from offering securities transaction services for the securities of Russian citizens, residents, and companies;
  • sale of securities denominated in the official currency of a Member State of the European Union to Russian citizens, residents, and legal entities;
  • providing credit rating services to Russian citizens, natural persons residing in Russia, and companies established in Russia;
  • making transactions with companies controlled by the Russian state.
  • providing direct or indirect support, including financing and other financial assistance, to a legal person, entity, or body established in Russia, more than 50% of which is owned or controlled by the state.
  • selling, delivering, transferring, and exporting banknotes denominated in the official currency of a Member State of the European Union to Russia or to persons located in Russia.

Energy sector

  • Selling, supplying, transporting, or exporting goods or technology used for the extraction, exploration, and refining of oil to Russia or for use in Russia;
  • acquiring or expanding holdings, granting new loans or credits, and establishing new joint undertakings in companies operating in the Russian energy sector.
  • purchasing, importing, or transferring coal and other solid fossil fuels originating in or exported from Russia (the exact list of prohibited goods can be found in Annex XXII to Council Regulation (EU) 2022/576 of 8 April 2022). Providing technical and financial assistance and financing are also prohibited.

Transport, military, and technology sectors

  • Aviation or space industry: selling, supplying, transporting, or exporting technology required for the aviation or the space industry, including assistance with overhaul, repair, inspection, replacement, modification, or other related means;
  • selling, delivering, and exporting marine navigation goods and technology. Providing technical assistance or mediation services and financing is also prohibited;
  • delivering, supplying, selling, and exporting dual-use goods in the technology and military sectors;
  • selling, exporting, supplying, or transporting goods or technology that supports the development of the Russian military or technology;
  • providing technical assistance related to military goods and technology and the supply, production, maintenance, and use of those goods to units in Russia or for use in Russia;
  • settlements with Russian military companies.
  • arranging road transport in the European Union by Russian companies.
  • selling, supplying, transferring, or exporting goods to or for use in Russia that may help increase the industrial capacity of Russia (the exact list of prohibited goods can be found in Annex XXIII to Council Regulation (EU) 2022/576 of 8 April 2022).

Crude oil and petroleum products

On 3 June 2022, the European Union adopted Council Regulation (EU) 2022/879 amending Regulation (EU) No 833/2014 concerning restrictive measures in view of Russia’s actions destabilising the situation in Ukraine. From 3 June 2022, it is prohibited to directly or indirectly buy, import, and transfer crude oil and petroleum products listed in Annex XXV of the regulation if they originate from Russia or if they are exported from Russia.

In addition, it is prohibited to provide services necessary for the transportation of seaborne Russian crude oil or petroleum products, as well as the provision of insurance services to third-country ships carrying Russian crude oil or petroleum products. Various exceptions and transitional periods were stipulated for the prohibitions.

As an exception, crude oil or petroleum products of Russian origin may be imported in the case of long-term contracts concluded before 4 June 2022 which have been notified to the European Commission no later than 24 June 2022. The restriction is also not imposed on such one-off transactions for the short-term supply of crude oil or petroleum products which are concluded and executed before the end of the transition period.

The transition period applies to Russian crude oil until 5 December 2022 and for petroleum products until 5 February 2023.

Luxury goods

  • Selling, supplying, or exporting luxury goods to Russia or for use in Russia if the unit price of the goods exceeds 300 euros.
  • Purchasing, importing, and transferring gold and gold products of Russian origin and exported from Russia to the EU or a third country after 22 July 2022 (a detailed list of gold and gold products subject to the ban is available in Annexes XXVI and XXVII of the Council regulation (EU) No. 833/2014). 

Other

  • Importing and purchasing iron and steel products originating in Russia or exported from Russia. Providing technical assistance and mediation services is also prohibited. The list is not final, but some of the areas are: Potassium chloride and potassium chloride-containing fertilizers, wood and wood products, cement products, some machinery and machine parts, ships.
  • Importing and purchasing goods from Russia that bring significant benefits to Russia and allow it to continue destabilising Ukraine (the exact list of can be found in Annex XXI to Council Regulation (EU) 2022/576 of 8 April 2022). Providing technical and financial assistance and financing are also prohibited.
  • Registering a trust or any similar legal entity and providing a registered office, business or administrative address, and management services to it if the founder or beneficiary is a Russian citizen or a natural person residing in Russia; a legal person, entity, or body established in Russia; a legal person, entity, or body in which more than 50% of the ownership is held by one of the above persons, entities, or bodies or who is under their control or acting on their behalf or at their direction.
  • Awarding or continuing the performance of procurement or concession contracts involving Russian nationals or a legal person, entity, or body established in Russia or a person owned or controlled by, or acting on behalf of or at the direction of such person, entity, or body.
  • Persons from or in the USA are prohibited from directly or indirectly exporting, re-exporting, selling, or offering accounting, trust, company formation, or management consulting services to companies in Russia.

* The list is not exhaustive
 

Following the decision of Russia to recognise the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, new restrictions have been imposed on those regions.

The following are prohibited:

  • import and export of goods to and from the EU and activities supporting them;
  • acquisition of real estate; acquisition of holdings or control in, lending to, and financing entities located in those territories; setting up joint ventures in these areas; offering investment services in connection with the aforementioned activities;
  • provision of tourism-related services.

* The list is not exhaustive

If on 3rd May there are funds in RUB left in your account, we will start converting the balance into the main currency of the account, or if the main currency of the account is a RUB, we will convert the balance into euros. The conversion will take place in accordance with the current interbank market conditions and it is possible that the conversion will not be done due to the market situation.

At the moment, we are temporarily suspending the issuance of powers of attorney to customers who want to go to Russia and Belarus with a vehicle belonging to AS SEB Liising. The decision is indefinite and depends on the situation in these countries.

  • Pay attention to the name of the recipient of the payment. 
  • Google the recipient of the payment – an individual or a business – and adequately evaluate the results. 
  • Make sure the post/page asking for financial help is credible. 
  • Check the account number and the country you are asked to send the money to. 
  • If you want to donate/support, do so through official organisations. Be careful with social media posts asking for financial help.     
  • Be sceptical about text messages, calls, and emails asking for financial assistance in support of Ukraine. If the emails and text messages contain a link to make a payment, we do not recommend using them. These may be from fraudsters who want to take advantage of the situation. Be sure not to enter your authentication information (username/password) or card information on an unknown page. If you wish to make a payment/donation, use the Internet bank (logging in as usual).
     

If you want to transfer donations to, for example, the Central Bank of Ukraine to support the Ukraine, then you could do it:

to Ukrainian Military
Receiver: National Bank of Ukraine
IBAN: DE05504000005040040066
Explanation: for ac 47330992708

For Ukrainian humanitarian aid:
Receiver:  Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine
IBAN: DE85500000000050002137
Explanation: for ac 32302338301027
NBU Opens Special Account to Raise Funds for Ukraine’s Armed Forces (bank.gov.ua)

Receiver: Deutsche Bundesbank, Frankfurt
BIC: MARKDEFF
Receiver´s address: Wilhelm-Epstein-Strasse 14, 60431 Frankfurt Am Main, Germany
NBU Opens Fundraising Account for Humanitarian Assistance to Ukrainians Affected by Russia’s Aggression


A few examples of where you can donate include the 'For Ukraine!' ('Ukraina heaks!') environment and the website of the Estonian Red Cross.

Donations can be made with a bank transfer:

  • MTÜ Eesti Pagulasabi, EE791010220258852223
  • MTÜ Mondo, EE491010220099409013
  • MTÜ Ukraina Kultuurikeskus, EE401010220229090221
  • Eesti Punane Rist MTÜ, EE742200001180001436


Or via bank links:

It all depends on how the geopolitical crisis will develop in the coming days. At the same time, our customers can feel at ease because the economies of Estonia and the European Union are strong. Low public debt and a unified readiness to deal with the crisis mean that we will be ready for a deterioration in the economic situation.

Global practice in both life and property insurance states that war damage is not covered by insurance contracts. In accordance with the terms and conditions of the insurance products of SEB Life and Pension Baltic SE, the following exclusion applies:

  • The insurer may refuse to pay the sum insured or reduce it if the insured event was caused by acts of war, an act of a foreign enemy, civil war, rebellion, or participation in a revolution or riot.

For example, if an insured person is injured in bombing, this is not an insured event. However, if a person has sudden health problems while in Ukraine or a traffic accident occurs on the way from Ukraine to Estonia, they are covered by the insured event.

You can read more about the terms and conditions of insurance here: https://www.seb.ee/en/terms-and-conditions

SEB does not exchange hryvni.
 

Despite the war in Ukraine, many Ukrainian banks continue to provide digital payment services (cards and payments). Therefore, Ukrainian refugees arriving in Estonia should check whether the bank cards issued by Ukrainian banks are working in Estonia. If they do, these cards can be used to pay for purchases and withdraw cash in euros. For these transactions, the exchange rate of the hryvnia to the euro is determined by the Ukrainian bank that issued the bank card.