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American Express follows Visa and Mastercard in exiting Russia

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·Finance Reporter, Yahoo Finance UK
·2-min read
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American Express follows Visa and Mastercard in exiting Russia
American Express cards will no longer work at ATMs or in shops in Russia or Belarus. Photo: Dado Ruvic/Reuters

American Express (AXP) has become the latest credit card company to announce it is pulling out of Russia and Belarus as Vladimir Putin’s invasion into Ukraine escalates.

Globally issued American Express (Amex) cards will no longer work at merchants or ATMs in Russia, the company said in a statement.

Cards issued "locally in Russia by Russian banks" will stop working outside the country.

"In light of Russia's ongoing, unjustified attack on the people of Ukraine, American Express is suspending all operations in Russia," the credit card company said in a statement Sunday.

Read more: Oil price hits $139 as UK and US consider banning Russian crude

"We are also terminating all business operations in Belarus," American Express added.

Visa (V) and Mastercard (MA) had announced a suspension of their Russian operations on Saturday.

Amex admitted its decision would affect colleagues and customers in the two countries but said one of its company values is to "do what is right".

American Express closed trading on Friday at 172.95p per share. Chart: Yahoo Finance UK
American Express closed trading on Friday at 172.95p per share. Chart: Yahoo Finance UK

"This principle has guided us throughout this difficult crisis and will continue to do so, as we stand by our colleagues, customers, and the international community in hoping for a peaceful resolution to this crisis."

The west has taken unprecedented measures against Russia, cutting the country off from around £450bn ($593bn) in reserves held by the Central Bank of Russia, blocking Russian access to the US dollar and banning state banks from using SWIFT.

Read more: Explainer: How economic sanctions work

Two of the Big Four accounting firms, KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), said on Sunday they will no longer have a member firm in Russia due to the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

The auditing and consultancy giant KPMG said its Russia and Belarus firm will leave the KPMG network, a move that will affect over 4,500 partners and staff in Russia and Belarus.

PayPal (PYPL) has closed its services while Puma (PUM.DE) and IKEA have closed stores. Apple (AAPL) and Microsoft (MSFT) have halted product sales and Hollywood studios have postponed the release of new movies.

Watch: Netflix, top accounting firms sever ties with Russia

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