Russia’s VTB aims to cut queues at China branch by end of summer, says CEO

Jue, 06/06/2024 - 16:56 -- mmorales

Andrei Kostin said the Russian bank plans to triple its staff and increase floor space at its branch in Shanghai

Russian bank VTB is aiming to eliminate the long queues of customers at its branch in China by the end of summer, CEO Andrei Kostin said on Thursday, with a plan to hire more staff and increase floor space.

Companies flocking to the VTB branch in Shanghai, the only Russian bank in China, were facing up to six months of delays, sources told Reuters in April, as the threat of secondary sanctions deters Chinese banks from trading with Russia.

“We had 1,300 clients on January 1 and now there are 25,000 applicants in the queue,” Kostin told reporters, proposing a fast-track system like in Disneyland.

“Buy a fast-track and go without waiting. There is a lot of money to be made,” he said. “We are making titanic efforts to make it go away.

We’ll get it resolved over the summer, I think ... by the end of summer.”

While visiting China last month, President Vladimir Putin said Moscow and Beijing would find a way to stop the threat of secondary sanctions against Chinese banks from disrupting their burgeoning trade.

He said a solution to the difficulties in Russian-Chinese payment settlements was possible, but did not elaborate.

The payment issues are hurting Russian firms’ export revenue, the Bank of Russia has said, as well as disrupting supply chains and raising import prices.

Kostin said VTB was tripling its staff at the Chinese branch, had increased floor space, adapted technology and also had other “know-how” that he would not elaborate on.

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