Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Visa, Mastercard block SMP Bank card transactions over U.S. sanctions

On Monday, Visa and MasterCard began blocking all of Yekaterinburg-based SMP Bank's credit and debit card transactions as a result of U.S. economic sanctions on Russia.

"Our customers, however, can take out any money via our ATMs and cash desks as well as via any of the 23,000 ATMs that the United Settlement System comprises," SMP Bank's press service in a statement to its customers, according to Ural Business Consulting.

Despite interruptions to its credit or debit card transactional services, SMP Bank customers are still able to complete all other banking transactions, including cashing checks, making deposits and posting payments to online bills.

SMP Bank issued a statement to its clients confirming that the bank does not hold any assets in the United States.

"All these sanctions touched upon the shareholders themselves and not the be bank as such, we feel these actions are unjustified and we are also positive that this difficulty will be resolved in the nearest future," the bank's statement said, Ural Business Consulting reports. "We are very grateful to our customers for their understanding."

Over the past several weeks the U.S. and EU have imposed sanctions against top Russian officials over the country's involvement in the Crimean peninsula.