UAE cancels license for Russia’s sanctioned MTS bank branch

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The United Arab Emirates Central Bank said on Friday it will cancel the license for a branch of Russia’s MTS bank, which it approved to operate last year and which was made subject of British and US sanctions in February.

Operations at the bank, which is licensed in the emirate of Abu Dhabi, will be wound down within six months under central bank supervision, it said.

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“This decision comes after considering the available options regarding the new status of the MTS Bank, and taking into account the sanctions risks associated with the bank after the designation,” the statement said.

During the winding down process the branch will not be allowed to open new accounts or conduct transactions apart from clearing prior obligations, for which purpose alone it will be allowed to use the central bank’s payment systems, it said.

MTS Bank is a fintech unit of Russia’s largest mobile operator Mobile TeleSystems.

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