Russian bank, working with Karabakh separatists, rapidly losing partners, clients

Russian bank, working with Karabakh separatists, rapidly losing partners, clients

Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov. 22

By Fikret Dolukhanov – Trend:

On Nov. 20, Uzbekistan’s Ipoteka Bank, just like a number of other financial companies, suspended cooperation with the Russian bank Unistream, Russia’s Kommersant newspaper reported.

Some former partners of Unistream decided to block all incoming correspondence from the Russian bank due to the hacker attack on the latter. It wasn’t the first attack in 2018 though. On Nov. 19, the Central Bank of the Russian Federation warned credit organizations in its bulletin about malware being sent from the bank’s official e-mail address.

It should also be noted that the issues with hacker attacks aren't the only issues the bank is currently facing. Unistream illegally provides services in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, and even has an “agreement” with the separatist regime’s bank.

Due to this, Azerbaijani banks have also ceased cooperation with Unistream.

The chairman and two of the four members of the board of directors of the company are Armenians.

According to the newspaper, the e-mails with the malware were sent to the recipients from the address book of the bank, which includes foreign partners apart from the Russian ones.

Partners from the CIS countries were among the first to react. The Bank of Asia from Kyrgyzstan, Imon International from Tajikistan, and Ipoteka Bank from Uzbekistan decided to suspend cooperation with the Russian bank.

One of the key partners of Unistream in Russia, Vostochny Bank (Eastern Bank) terminated the cooperation agreement with Unistream. Numerous Russian credit organizations also temporarily suspended cooperation.

Some Russian credit organizations also temporarily suspended cooperation with the bank.

Earlier, Unistream has already received a warning from the Central Bank of Russia, which limits the system’s ability to conduct foreign exchange transactions for half a year. According to Kommersant’s sources, the restriction was introduced after an unscheduled inspection, which took place in August and revealed violations in identifying customers who exchanged large amounts of currency.

According to Alma Obayeva, Chairman of the Board of the National Payment Council of the Russian Federation, Unistream is in an extremely difficult situation.

“The restriction of currency exchange operations for Unistream was indeed negative, but not fatal. However, refusal of foreign partners to cooperate, even temporarily, will inevitably lead to the loss of customers and to significant reduction in cross-border transfers,” she said.

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Follow the author on Twitter: @FDolukhanov

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