Hungary quits Russian International Investment Bank at last

Hungary has withdrawn its representatives from the International Investment Bank (IIB), known as the "Russian spy bank" because of its close ties to Russia. Hungary has become the last European Union member state to do so.

Source: International Investment Bank notice to bondholders, creditors and clients;, a Hungarian news outlet; European Pravda

Details: The IIB’s statement says that its board of directors has made several decisions "aimed at making the bank more stable through restoring corporate governance and relocating the bank’s headquarters from Budapest".

The IIB has been denied access to the European financial market as a result of EU sanctions. It also cannot access its assets and funds on EU territory.

The IIB’s statement indicates that Hungary officially withdrew from the IIB on 19 October, six months after it announced the move.

The IIB is a multilateral development institution established by former Eastern Bloc countries in 1970. The Bank’s goal is to promote the economic development of its member states, primarily by providing concessional loans to established businesses or ventures.

The bank had almost 50% Russian ownership and Hungarian authorities were not involved in overseeing it. In April 2023, the US Treasury Department announced sanctions against the bank, arguing that the IIB’s presence in Budapest allowed Russia to strengthen its intelligence presence in Europe.

In February, Bulgaria announced that it would withdraw from the IIB. Slovakia, Czechia and Romania withdrew from the bank last year.

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