Frankfurt-based VTB Bank (Europe) SE i.L. - VTBE for short - intends to change its name at the turn of the year 2023/24. It will continue to operate under the name OWH SE i.L. from January 1, 2024. A corresponding proposal to change the company name is the only item on the agenda of an Extraordinary General Meeting convened for December 11, 2023. The name OWH comes from Ost-West Handelsbank AG, a predecessor institution of VTBE. The abbreviation OWH has always been part of VTBE's Swift code, which will also continue to be used by OWH SE i.L.
An entry in the commercial register following the resolution of the Annual General Meeting is currently being prepared. With the change of name, a new web address (www.owh.de) and email addresses for all employees and other mailboxes will be set up from January 2024. The previous ending @vtb.eu will be replaced by @owh.de. The name change will have no further impact on business relationships with the remaining 250 or so customers of VTBE - or OWH i.L. from 2024. All contractual rights and obligations will remain in place on both sides.
The background to the name change is the loss of the rights to use the VTB brand. VTBE, based in Frankfurt am Main, is majority-owned by the Russian PJSC VTB Bank in St. Petersburg, which had already been included in the group of sanctioned companies by the European Union on April 8, 2022. Also in April 2022, the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) prohibited PJSC VTB Bank from exercising its voting rights and instructed the management of VTBE to no longer follow instructions from the owner. In view of a ban on new business imposed by BaFin, VTBE is de facto and, since the liquidation resolved by the Annual General Meeting, also legally in liquidation. The voting rights are exercised by a court-appointed trustee.