UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak has called on more British businesses to take action against Russia.
In a video message on Twitter, Sunak commended several companies and investors for their “widespread commitment to end their involvement with Russian assets”.
He went on to say that for those who have not yet “ended their financial relationships with Russia” but intend to, “the government fully supports you”.
“While I recognise it may be challenging to wind down existing investments, I believe there is no argument for new investment in the Russian economy,” Sunak continued.
“I am urging asset owners and managers to think very carefully about any investment that would in any sense support Putin and his regime.”
Guidance on asset disposal
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) echoed the chancellor’s message, by recognising the steps firms have taken to exit the Russian economy, but warned them to meet the sanctions requirements if they do end up divesting.
The regulator has also put together guidance on how to adhere to sanctions.
The FCA said: “Regulated firms have already taken steps to avoid new investment in the Russian economy.
“Many asset managers and pension providers have written down any Russian assets already held by the fund or scheme to zero, and some have announced that they are intending to divest themselves of such assets when it is practical to do so. Major index providers have taken steps to remove Russian securities from their equity and bond indices.
“There are currently significant practical challenges in terms of disposing of Russian assets. When it is possible to sell such investments, firms should ensure that they meet requirements on entities that are subject to sanctions or connected to sanctioned entities.”