Under instruction by the European Central Bank (ECB), the Austrian Financial Market Authority (FMA), has today issued an administrative decision, prohibiting the licensed credit institution “Sberbank Europe AG” with its registered office at Schwarzenbergplatz 3, 1010 Vienna, from continuing business operations with immediate effect, and has appointed the external auditor and attorney at law, Gerd Konezny, Währingerstraße 16/20, 1090 Vienna, as a government commissioner (Regierungskommissär). In particular, the government commissioner will be required to report whether, and as applicable when, an insolvency has occurred. “Sberbank Europe AG” is a significant institution within the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM), the European system of banking supervision, and is therefore directly supervised by the European Central Bank. The FMA therefore took the aforementioned actions upon instruction by the ECB. The prohibition of business operations legally triggers the deposit guarantee pay-out event, under which the Austrian deposit guarantee system is required to pay out eligible deposits within ten banking days. These measures have been taken to protect the financial interests of the creditors as well as safeguarding the assets that have been entrusted to the supervised entity.
SRB: No public interest in resolution under BRRD
The measures instructed by the European Central Bank have occurred, because it determined on 27 February 2022 that Sberbank Europe AG was in massive financial difficulties in light of recent geopolitical developments and massive liquidity outflows and will potentially become unable to pay (“failing or likely to fail” – FOLTF). The Single Resolution Board (SRB), the European resolution authority, which is directly competent for Sberbank Europe AG, thereafter imposed a moratorium upon the bank until 11:59pm on 01 March 2022, in order to be able to review whether a recovery or resolution of the bank in accordance with the special rights and obligations of the European resolution regime under the European Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive (BRRD) would be in the public interest, and duly reached the conclusion that this is not the case. Consequently, the ECB instructed the FMA to enforce the aforementioned measures without delay.
Deposit guarantee pay-out event of Sberbank Europe AG
The official prohibition of continuation of business operations legally triggers the deposit guarantee pay-out event. The Austrian deposit guarantee system is therefore required to pay out eligible deposits up to the amount of € 100,000 within a maximum of ten banking days. The pay-out is being handled by:
Einlagensicherung AUSTRIA Ges.m.b.H. (ESA)
Wipplingerstraße 34/DG4, 1010 Vienna
• Hotline for Austrian customers: 0800 404345
• Hotline for international customers including Germany: +43 (1) 3589034
• E-Mail: [email protected]
More detailed information about deposit protection in Austria can be found on the FMA’s website at www.fma.gv.at/en/bank-accounts/deposit-protection/.
Legal bases for the official measures:
Pursuant to Article 70 para. 2 of the Austrian Banking Act (BWG; Bankwesengesetz) the FMA may “in cases of the fulfilment of the credit institution’s obligations to its creditors being endangered, in particular for the safeguarding of assets that have been entrusted to it, issue an administrative decision ordering temporary measures in order to avert such danger, with such measures ceasing to be effective at the latest 18 months after they enter into effect.”
For this purpose, the FMA may “completely or partly prohibit the continuation of business operations” pursuant to Article 70 para. 2 no. 4 BWG and pursuant to Article 70 para. 2 no. 2 BWG may “appoint an expert supervisor (government commissioner (Regierungskommissär)) who is an attorney at law or external auditor.” Pursuant to Article 70 para. 2 no. 2 lit. b BWG, this expert supervisor shall “in cases where the credit institution is completely or partly prohibited from continuing business/transactions, allow individual transactions which do not exacerbate the danger mentioned above.” Further information about the SRB’s decision may be found via the following link.
Addendum of 01 April 2022 – Information for Sberbank Customers:
The FMA’s administrative decision dated 01.03.2022 prohibited the continuation of business operations with immediate effect. This only affects Sberbank Europe AG’s new business. The receiving of repayments on loans that were granted by Sberbank Europe AG prior to the administrative decision entering into force, are not covered by the administrative decision. Customers are therefore obliged to continue to repay such loan instalments.
Journalists may address further enquiries to:
Klaus Grubelnik (FMA Media Spokesperson)
+43 (0)676 88 249 516
+43 (0) 1 249 59 6006