- Oleg Tinkov recently made comments on Instagram critical of Russia and its invasion of Ukraine.
- The bank he founded now intends to change its name.
- Tinkoff’s control was recently shifted to a group of directors in Russia. Tinkov now lives abroad.
Days after Tinkoff Bank founder Oleg Tinkov apparently openly criticized the Russian military and the country’s invasion of Ukraine, the bank is changing its name in an apparent attempt to separate itself from Tinkov entirely.
“The company has been preparing for this step for a long time, and recent events have made this decision even more relevant,” the bank wrote in a statement on its official Telegram channel. “Tinkoff’s business has been successfully managed by a team of Russian managers for many years, and tens of thousands of investors in Russia and abroad own the bank.”
The lender did not say what his new name would be, but he wished Tinkov “good luck.” A company spokeswoman declined to comment beyond the Telegram post.
The holding company that owns the bank, TCS Group, is listed in the UK, although it is based in Moscow. Earlier this month, control of the bank was transferred to a board of directors in Russia, taking control away from a group of directors based in Cyprus, according to a company statement.
As Insider previously reported, Tinkoff has so far escaped heavy Western sanctions placed on many Russian banks and financial institutions. The
it has become one of the few reliable ways that Russians working for outside tech companies, for example, can get paid. It’s also one of the few banks that can still reliably use, send and receive money transfers from Western banks, several international tech workers told Insider in late March.
Regulators and agencies handling Russian sanctions in the US, UK and EU previously declined to comment on why the Tinkoff bank had avoided sanctions. Representatives could not immediately be reached for comment on the bank’s apparent shift to more direct Russian control.
While the bank he founded remains unsanctioned, Oleg Tinkov himself was sanctioned in March by the United Kingdom, where he had lived for many years. The bank at the time emphasized to his followers on Telegram that the sanctions “in no way” affected his operations and that Tinkov did not have a majority or controlling interest in his bank or holding company. He appears to have sold most of his stake in late 2020. He has been undergoing treatment for leukemia for a number of years.
The Russian billionaire has recently become more scathing in his criticism of the Ukraine invasion. On Tuesday, he wrote on Instagram that the war was benefiting no one and that “the generals, waking up with a hangover, realized they had a shitty army,” in an apparent reference to Russia’s military leaders. Last week, he called the war “futile”, “nightmare and hell” which is “fratricidal” and said he wanted to help Ukrainian refugees in Italy.