Raiffeisen Bank Replaces 'Misleading' Russia Job Postings Amid Pressure to Exit Market

Raiffeisen Bank faces backlash for misleading Russia job ads, despite plans to exit the market. The bank's actions highlight the challenges Western firms face in complying with sanctions amid the Ukraine conflict.

Rafia Tasleem
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Raiffeisen Bank Replaces 'Misleading' Russia Job Postings Amid Pressure to Exit Market

Raiffeisen Bank Replaces 'Misleading' Russia Job Postings Amid Pressure to Exit Market

Raiffeisen Bank International, an Austrian lender, has announced that it will replace job advertisements featuring "misleading language" suggesting an expansion of the bank's operations in Russia. This decision comes amid growing pressure on the bank to withdraw from the Russian market following the country's invasion of Ukraine in 2022.

The bank has faced criticism for posting over 2,400 job advertisements in Russia this year, including nearly 1,500 for sales management and customer service roles, despite repeated statements that it intends to shrink and sell its business in the country. An internal probe revealed that the advertised expansion plans were outdated and did not reflect the bank's actual plans to reduce its Russian business.

Raiffeisen Bank clarified that the quotes in the job ads do not align with the measures it has taken to scale down its operations in Russia or its future plans for the Russian market. The bank stressed that any new job postings are related to maintaining necessary banking operations, not business growth.

Why this matters: Raiffeisen Bank's actions highlight the challenges faced by Western companies operating in Russia amid the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. The bank's decision to replace the misleading job ads reflects the growing pressure on businesses to sever ties with Russia and comply with international sanctions.

Despite the bank's intentions to sell Raiffeisenbank Russia, the largest Western bank operating in the country, filings showed that Raiffeisen expanded its staff in Russia by 6.6% over two years, reaching 9,942 employees as of December 2023. In contrast, other European banks have reduced their local staff during the same period.

Raiffeisen Bank International reported 2.4 billion euros in net profits for 2023 and paid 464 million euros in income tax in Russia. However, the bank's deal with an Austrian construction company and a Russian oligarch to recover frozen assets in Russia has drawn scrutiny from U.S. authorities.

Ukraine's National Agency on Corruption Prevention has refused to remove Raiffeisen Bank from the list of international sponsors of war, citing the bank's lack of a clear plan to leave the Russian market. The bank stated that it is reviewing its presence in Russia and is committed to complying with all applicable sanctions and regulations.

Key Takeaways

  • Raiffeisen Bank to replace misleading job ads suggesting Russia expansion
  • Bank faces criticism for posting 2,400+ job ads in Russia this year
  • Raiffeisen expanded Russian staff by 6.6% while others reduced local staff
  • Bank reported 2.4B euros in 2023 profits and 464M euros in Russian taxes
  • Ukraine refuses to remove Raiffeisen from list of war sponsors, citing lack of exit plan