Fontanka has found at least 28 banks in St. Petersburg that continue to accept payments from individuals to Europe and the United States. Each has its own nuances, but there are plenty to choose from.
Due to sanctions and restrictions, many believed in the scarecrow that all Russian banks were cut off from SWIFT, and payment systems were cut off from the world. “Fontanka” did a titanic work – called 103 banks in St. Petersburg. We made sure that the rumors about the closure of the financial border are greatly exaggerated: dozens of institutions are still in operation, and with their help you can pay bills in euros and dollars abroad, even for a purchase, even pay a bill, even transfer to relocated friends.
The vast majority of the names of the banks that we called, you have never heard, and after you finish reading this article, you will never see them again. Many banks have protective measures such as very high fees or minimum payment amounts. Financiers can be understood – now every SWIFT transfer from a Russian bank in Europe and the United States is looked at under a magnifying glass. They check whether the money goes to people from the sanctions lists and whether there is any sedition in general.
From the point of view of the Western banking system, we are all now toxic clients with whom few people want to do business. There is even a whole pool of foreign banks, such as Nordea, who have announced that they will not accept payments from Russia under any circumstances. So it is in the interests of Russian bankers to limit the number of transfers. So that Russians buy less of every penny crap in online stores (before this year, the bulk of cross-border transfers accounted for online trading) and turn to them only in case of real need.
However, even if you only need to pay a small bill of 40-50 euros or send $100 to a friend, you can do it without spending twice as much. You just have to search hard. We did it and this is what happened.
SWIFT rules dollars and euros
Not all banks felt the pressure of the sanctions and went overboard of the SWIFT international financial messaging system. Payments in dollars and euros are transferred abroad by 14 financial institutions in St. Petersburg. But not everything is so simple: you will have to open a foreign currency account, pay a commission for the transfer, and the transfer itself can be limited in amount, and each institution has its own conditions. In addition, some banks make transfers only in branches; it will not work to “transfer” a payment online. Do not forget to bring your passport and invoice with you to justify the transfer.
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