March 29, 2023

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PARIS — French bank Société Générale Monday announced that it will cease activities in Russia. It announced that it will sell its Russian subsidiary Rosbank as well as its insurance activities in Russia to Interros Capital, an investment firm owned by the oligarch Vladimir Potanin.

The bank will finalize the sale once it gets the green light from competition and regulatory watchdogs.

“With this agreement, concluded after several weeks of intensive work, the Group would exit in an effective and orderly manner from Russia, ensuring continuity for its employees and clients,” the French bank said in a statement.

Potanin’s Interros Group used to be Rosbank’s main shareholder before Société Générale took over the Russian bank.

Potanin is not on the list of Russians sanctioned by the EU but he is on Canada’s sanctions list. Potanin is also active in the nickel industry and served as Russia’s first deputy prime minister in the 1990s.

Société Générale faced criticism in France for not leaving Russia earlier, as other French banks BNP Paribas and Crédit Agricole did.

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