Banking Shift Russia's VTB European Arm Rebrands Amid Liquidation

Banking Shift: Russia’s VTB European Arm Rebrands Amid Liquidation

Explore the rebranding of VTB’s European subsidiary to OWH SE amid sanctions and liquidation. Discover the impact of the Russia-Ukraine conflict on VTB Europe’s operations.

Name Change for VTB’s European Branch

In a significant move amidst ongoing sanctions and financial challenges, the European subsidiary of Russia’s VTB Bank, under liquidation, has undergone a name change. 

The Frankfurt-based institution will now operate as OWH SE, moving away from its association with the Russian parent company, as disclosed by Frank Hellwig, the CEO.

Impact of the Ukraine Conflict

Before the Ukraine conflict, VTB’s European division was popular among German depositors for its attractive interest rates. 

The bank was also a notable sponsor of the local ice hockey team. 

However, the onset of the war prompted a swift withdrawal of deposits, leading to a bank run. 

Regulatory authorities intervened to manage the situation, eventually taking control in April 2022 when sanctions hit, severing the bank’s ties with Russia.

Struggle Over Branding Rights

The Russian headquarters denied permission despite the European subsidiary’s efforts to maintain its branding. 

The sanctions have stripped VTB Russia of its shareholder rights in its European arm since April 2022, a move they deemed illegal. 

Consequently, the Russian bank has refused any rights to use its brand and logo, as the European branch is now considered a third-party entity beyond its control.

New Identity with Historical Roots

OWH SE, the new name, refers to an earlier version of the bank known as Ost-West Handelsbank. 

This change marks an essential transition for the bank as it navigates through the complexities of liquidation, which Miro Zadro, the Chief Financial Officer, suggests could take years.

Closure of Retail Operations

The rebranding accompanies the closure of the bank’s retail division, Direktbank, which served numerous savers. 

The last transaction recorded was a deposit for a garden shed, marking the end of an era for VTB’s retail banking operations in Europe.

This transition signals a name change and a significant shift in the European banking landscape as the fallout from geopolitical tensions continues to reverberate through the financial sector.

Get our best stuff sent straight to you! Join our WhatsApp Channel.

Post's Author

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top