HSBC has completed the sale of its Russian business unit to Moscow-based privately held commercial bank Expobank, for an undisclosed sum, after nearly two years of negotiations.

In June 2022, HSBC announced its plans to sell 100% of its local unit to Expobank, which was terminated after the Russian government tightened restrictions on foreign asset sales.

Earlier this year, Russian President Vladimir Putin granted HSBC approval to sell its Russian unit to Expobank, allowing the British lender to exit from Russia.

According to Reuters’ report, Expobank has completed the transaction, and HSBC confirmed the transfer of its ownership of the Russian business to the Expobank.

Expobank said that the HSBC’s Russian business would continue to operate, under a new, unspecified name.

HSBC said: “Economic ownership of HSBC Russia has been transferred to Expobank,” HSBC said in a statement. “The transaction will formally complete once the legal title transfer has been registered in the State Corporate Register.

Expobank CEO said in February: “Another large Italian lender, Intesa Sanpaolo is working to dispose of its Russian business. It received Putin’s approval to exit in September 2023, but the deal has been held up by bureaucratic steps.”

In September last year, HSBC halted commercial payments by business customers between Russia and Belarus, as sanctions made it challenging to carry out operations.

The US government sanctioned Expobank a month later, as part of wide-ranging restrictions targeting Russia’s energy and financial sectors in the wake of the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

In a separate development, HSBC opened its new workspace in Buffalo’s historic Larkin Square area, strengthening its presence in the Western New York region.

The move supports the bank’s approach to creating a good workplace for its Buffalo employees to engage and collaborate, to provide an optimal service for clients.

HSBC US and Americas CEO Michael Roberts said: “HSBC is here to stay in Buffalo, and our innovative, new office represents our unwavering commitment to the city and Western New York.

“We are thrilled to be a part of the community and contributing to its dynamic economy. We’re making the return to office an engaging, collaborative and inspiring experience for our colleagues, while at the same time, supporting the community we serve.

“Together, we are not only building an office space for our employees and clients, but a foundation for future growth and prosperity in this remarkable city.”