Tip: Check with the bank before sending money to Russia:

At this time, do not make a payment transaction with any company, organization or person in Russia without first contacting your bank. This is the opinion of the Dutch Payments Association and the Dutch Banking Association. Dutch banks say there is no storm in customer inquiries, but caution is advised.

It has to do with the uncertainty surrounding Swift, the messaging system between international banks. The European Commission announced last weekend that it would exclude a number of Russian banks from Swift and prevent these banks from communicating with other international banks via Swift. However, this sanction is not yet in force and it is not yet known which banks are involved.

Therefore, customers are currently at risk when transferring money to a Russian bank account. “As soon as a payment to a payee is initiated and the Swift block takes effect, your payment is in limbo,” said a spokesperson for the Payments Association. In the worst case scenario, you can lose track of your money, he says. The spokesperson said: “Before a transaction, contact your bank, they can explain to you what the risks are. Then you can choose whether you want to take that risk.”


According to Rabobank, very few customers come to the bank with questions about payments to Russia. “For the time being, a few dozen, no more,” said a spokesman.

Payment transactions with Russia are not important at ABN Amro in any case, but the crisis and financial sanctions provide the necessary uncertainty. “Be careful with payment is recommended,” says Jaap van der Molen, head of anti-money laundering and sanctions at ABN Amro. “We don’t yet know which banks will be subject to financial sanctions and the closure of Swift, so everyone is cautious. You can only lose money if the bank involved is subject to sanctions, which means that the assets are blocked.”

In view of the banking crisis of 2007-2008, banks were more reluctant to trust each other because of the threat of exclusion from the payment system. Van der Molen: “The threat of Swift and other sanctions are drying up liquidity. “Banks are less dependent on how the system works and want to prevent money from getting trapped and harming themselves or their customers.”

quick list

A list of Russian banks for Swift sanction is currently being prepared in Brussels. The EU list is said to include at least seven Russian banks, including VTB Bank, Russia’s second largest bank. Also mentioned are Bank Rossiya, Bank Otkritie, Novikombank, Promsvvjazbank, Sovcombank and VEB.RF.

State-owned Sberbank, Russia’s largest bank, is not on the list, but the bank is already subject to US restrictions.

Source: NOS