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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Stolichny Bank Licensed For Dutch Operations

Stolichny, one of the country's largest commercial banks, became the first Russian bank to obtain a license for a subsidiary in the European Union on Monday, a bank representative said.

Spokesman Sergei Meshcheryakov said the Dutch central bank awarded Stolichny with a license to serve both Russian and foreign corporations in the Netherlands and to open a subsidiary in Amsterdam.

"Our primary goal was to speed up money transfers between Russian and foreign companies, which can take months now," Meshcheryakov said. "We plan to cut this time to several days." He added that Stolichny did not have the right to serve individuals.

Larisa Solodukhina, a spokesperson for the Russian Central Bank, said the license was made possible by a partnership and cooperation agreement signed between Russia and the EU earlier this year.

Under the agreement, Russian banks are allowed to operate in EU countries, while EU banks will face some restrictions on the Russian market for a period of ten years. Meshcheryakov said Stolichny Bank International N.V., Stolichny's fully owned subsidiary in the Netherlands, would have an initial capital of 25 million guilders ($14.7 million).

Meshcheryakov said Stolichny International would concentrate its on foreign trade operations, providing services such as letters of credit, documentary collections and payment orders. He said that two out of three directors and the majority of employees at the subsidiary would be Dutch.