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Crimean lender stops servicing Mastercard, Visa cards

JSC Genbank, operating in Russia-annexed Crimea, will cease servicing Mastercard and Visa cards from Aug. 14.

The lender's customers have been offered payment cards issued by the National Payment Cards System, which is fully owned by the Russian central bank, the lender said Aug. 9.

The Russian National Payment Cards System and its Mir payment cards were launched after the West imposed sanctions on Russia for the annexation of the Crimean peninsula in 2014.

In August 2017, the Russian central bank had to bail out Genbank and selected Joint Stock Bank Sobinbank to oversee the lender's financial recovery procedure. Both lenders have been operating under western sanctions imposed after Russia's takeover of Crimea.