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Revolut blocks operations and accounts of Russians and Belarusians in Europe

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Photo: Revolut
Photo: Revolut

British neobank Revolut has changed its rules for servicing operations and accounts of Russian and Belarusian citizens residing in European countries. The institution has increased requirements for their documents and now demands proof of permanent residency or a long-term work visa, whereas previously a passport from the aggressor country or a regular visa was sufficient for servicing, Forbes reports.

Among the cases already recorded, journalists highlight several instances. For example, the service demanded a local tax identification number from a Belarusian citizen residing in Lithuania, which is used for tax reporting. For a Russian citizen who moved to France, the service requested proof of permanent residency or a long-term visa, which they did not possess, and their account and operations were blocked until they obtained the documents. Russian citizens residing in Latvia sent push notifications a few weeks before their documents expired, asking to confirm residency or provide proof of permanent residency.

Revolut representative Paddy Crowley stated that the bank has strengthened formal requirements for Russian and Belarusian citizens due to restrictions imposed by the EU on immigrants from these countries. According to him, clients from Russia and Belarus must present an extended residence permit or a work visa that allows them to stay in the European Union for more than 180 days. The restrictions specifically apply to Russians and Belarusians and are in effect across all bank branches. However, Revolut does not accept certificates confirming the submission of documents for extending residency or a visa, utility bills, or expenses in the country of residence as justification for unblocking accounts.

This is not the only European financial institution where Russians and Belarusians face issues. Recently, the largest bank in Cyprus, Bank of Cyprus, closed accounts of approximately 4,000 clients who hold Russian passports and are not residents of EU countries. The reason for the account closures was Russia's suspension of membership in the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which occurred on February 24. Additionally, investment accounts of Russians and Belarusians are being frozen in Switzerland, with one of the country's largest banks, Julius Baer, blocking accounts due to Euroclear's requirements.

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