Russia Treasury & Banking Update

Report date: 
21 Feb 2022

Chair's commentary

We held this call to share experiences on the current situation between Russia and Ukraine,
and how people are preparing for the possible consequences. We are sending out the
report quickly, hoping actual events do not overtake it……

● The general consensus is that a lot of what is happening is grandstanding, and that a
physical war is unlikely, though the situation is very risky. We all hope this is
● Preparing for an event like this is difficult, as no-one knows what the consequences
will be, if the worst happens:
o Exclusion of Russia from SWIFT: the view is that this would happen gradually,
as in previous cases (Venezuela, Iran).
o International payments via China, using China’s CIPS network: several
companies are looking at this, but no-one has established it as a viable
o Crypto: one participant is investigating using Ripple as an alternative to SWIFT.
They are already doing this for cost and efficiency reasons, and see this as a
viable solution.
o Sanctions: there is an expectation that, even if companies find an alternative
to SWIFT, sanctions will make it difficult or impossible to do business anyway.
o Banking relations: people have been looking at their banking relations, to see
whether they could be affected. Again, the consensus is “wait and see”.

● Operational actions:
o Most participants have significant – and profitable – businesses in Russia.
o Most participants have been accelerating the flow of cash out of Russia for a
o Some have been taking measures to bolster local cash flow, and make sure
the local entity can survive, if the worst comes to pass.
o People continue to hedge their RUB exposures – the cost of doing so has not
risen significantly.
o There has already been a move towards more local manufacturing, due to
recent legislative requirements. However, new investments are generally on

Bottom line: it is always very difficult to prepare for a problem when you do not know what
form that problem will actually take. People are holding regular cross functional meetings,
and talking to their banks.
We all hope very much that the worst will not happen.


This report was compiled by Monie Lindsey, based on a Treasury Peer Call chaired by Damian Glendinning.


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