Citigroup’s activities in Ukraine are uncertain for the time being, and the company is apprehensive about a cyber assault by Russia, according to Chief Executive Jane Fraser in an interview with CNBC.
According to Fraser, the bank has assisted some of its 200 employees in Ukraine in leaving the country following Russia’s incursion.
Those who remain are trying to keep the firm running as long as possible to serve Ukrainian clients, but Fraser says it’s uncertain how long they’ll be able to do so.
“This morning they opened our bank and continued helping our clients there with payroll, with food supply, with supply chains, and some of the humanitarian aid,” Fraser said. “I don’t think any of us know how long we will be able to keep going.”
Outside of Ukraine, the bank’s main concern, according to Fraser, is cyber-attacks.
“We are certainly on high alert and putting a lot of resources around making sure that we are protecting our institutions,” she added.
Citigroup and its clients, according to Fraser, are minimising their exposure to prospective losses on Russian assets.
According to the bank, its entire exposure to Russia at the end of last year was about $10 billion, significantly greater than previously disclosed.
“There is a big unwind going across different industries,” she said. Investors and corporations are asking “where are we going to see a decoupling of the Russian capital markets, financial markets and broader economy.”
(Adapted from CNBC.com)