The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has authorized Russia’s MTS Bank, a move that could add to Western concerns that the Gulf state could become a potential haven for Moscow’s financial operations.
This shift will meet the growing demand for financial services from the Russian diaspora in the Gulf state.
For the record, MTS Bank is registered in Abu Dhabi and received its license just last year.
Russia’s largest mobile operator, Mobile TeleSystems, includes a fintech division. British “Financial Times” reports Central Bank has approved.
Massive Western sanctions against Russia have not specifically targeted telecommunications infrastructure, so MTS is not subject to the same restrictions as some banks and energy companies.
The central bank’s decision to grant the bank a banking license exempt from Western sanctions will meet growing demand for financial services from the Russian diaspora, executives and officials familiar with the matter said.”It all depends on the business case,” said a source with knowledge of the decision. [and] The number of Russians living here now”.
Since the invasion of Ukraine a year ago, a large number of Russians have emigrated to the UAEmainly to Dubai to escape economic difficulties in Europe or domestic military conflicts.
Many have expressed displeasure at the difficulty of obtaining bank accounts, especially corporate accounts, for lenders currently operating in the country.
Russia’s MTS Bank is the first foreign bank to receive a license from the UAE in several years.
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