British expat monthly british pension stopped.

I am a British citizen, resident in Russia. and my British pension has been stopped since February 2023 due to sanctions in Russia. They used Citibank for cash transfers, but Citibank no longer functions for cash transactions to Russia. I have a Unicredit account in Russia which is  not sanctioned

I am a resident of Russia and have been advised by the pension department to find a bank account outside Russia, and they will continue payment. I do freelance work, but unfortunately my agents are not paying what they owe.

What I need is an account number and an online banking service that will receive cash transactions from the pension department in the UK to enable me to receive my income in Russia. My bank in Russia is Unicredit Bank, which is not sanctioned.

John I am having the same problem if Unicredit Bank is ok I going to try and get mine into there.

Unicredit (Russia) accepts international cash and is not sanctioned. However Citibank, who the pension department uses to transfer money to Russia, has stopped all transfers to Russia. There's another, they say they needed a life certificate, signed and snail posted, and that is the reason they stopped my pension. Have you ever tried asking a Russia to sign a legal document in English? What a ridiculous request!

@John.WSThe pension dept confirmed receipt of my life certificate, yet they still press for a bank account outside Russiawhich I can't get. Anybody know about arbitration on the pension dept to press this issue?

Citibank continues to discriminate British pensioners in Russia, leaving them with no form of income, yet continue to cash transact British pensions throughout the world. They say they do not discriminate anybody. And think of all those in Russia who demand on international incomes. Do they enjoy starving thousands of innocent people? As for the UK pension Office, they  can't be bothered to come up with a solution and haven't done since February 2023.

Targeted elite remain comfortable while innocent Russians and residents suffer loss of their income.

British resident in Russia. British pension stopped since February 2023. Reason? Citibank (international pension offices account) refuses pension cash transaction to Russian accounts(even those not sanctioned). They continue to pay British pensioners throughout the world, but not to Russia. Pension department suggests get a bank account outside Russia, or get someone in UK to receive pension and transfer money to to my account (Unicredit bank). Does anybody have advice to resolve this problem?

In regards to your news about sanctions against Russia. What about British pensioners residing who have had their UK pensions stopped due to banks refusing to do cash transactions to Russia (Citibank)? (that's me and my family starving and soon homeless, thank you very much) And what about innocent foreign residents and citizens in Russia who are totally dependent (directly or indirectly) on receiving their only income outside Russia? Are they continuing to suffer severe poverty? The war is unwinnable and a peace agreement will work. Are we being discriminated against? The sanctions are not working, only against the ordinary low income folk who have nothing to do with these sanctions. The elite continue to be comfortable, as my 17 year old college son is forced to work for his studies and food, cleaning their luxury cars.

Can you help me find a bank prepared to pay my pension to Russia? I have checked, and I have nothing to do with the sanctions and my bank (unicredit Bank) isn't sanctioned. My situation has become desperate. My State pension office has tried to pay and failed for over a year now. They say they are trying Natwest bank who are considering it, but I have heard nothing since.

This is the communication i received from DWP "Our partner bank has informed us that  going forward they will no longer process any payments to Russian bank accounts regardless of the bank.

You are correct that the bank you mentioned is not on a specific sanction lit of any kind, the issue lies with the our partner bank not wanting to send any money to Russia at this time. Hopefully this will change sometime in the future but not as it stands.

Using a friends third party account is fine by us however like you raised the issue then lies getting the money into Russia from that account." And that is a problem!!

I found three persons in the UK who were prepared to accept my pension.

All three had accounts with different banks. But all three banks refused to transfer money to Russia even though the bank I was using was not on any sanction list.

Yes, and the pension department's partner bank is Citibank. I contacted them stating that British pensions to Russia is not on the sanction list and they were discriminating British citizens resident in Russia while continuing with the rest of the world. They said they don't discriminate in any manner, and then sent another letter saying they would not be doing cash transactions to Russia.

I still hope,and going through various complaints  procedures, first DWP, then ICE if necessary. My complaint is that although the pension department are trying to help to find a solution, no progress has been made since February 2023. Something needs to be done, urgently.

I urge all British pensioners in the same boat to make their complaint here, then onto ICE if there is no satisfaction. Ice will only accept to arbitrate only when a final answer is given by this Office.

DWP Complaints

Post Handling Site B


WV99 2GY

Email –

This might be useful to you. Card to card to Russia. Pity the pension office can't do it,as I got no answer

on this request.

Send money to yourself and family to Russia

Thank you John. Your info has been very helpful

Hi, I'm a bit late to the table but am in the same boat: a disabled English pensioner living in Moscow. Married to a Russian lady, been here for over twenty years.

Had some experience with Profee and Korona pay, but they seem to be under a lot of scrutiny themselves, getting more difficult.

Totally agree with the discrimination aspect, DWP never replied to my questions. Need to present a united front over this, if only for moral support!


Yes there must be many more of us. Would be glad to hear about it. I do get some communication from The pension Banking department, but the promises never come up with results. I have stated they could use Profee,

and Unicredit bank is willing to do transactions, (easy, Russian presence, and my account, not sanctioned) but no answer. There is also a possibility with HSBC, who function in Russia and offer international, but again no answer from them. The pension department is doing nothing. I think it's time for arbitration, and we should do it jointly, and we should contact United Nations against banks discriminating people in Russia who are not sanctioned, and pensions to individuals are not in the sanction list, and that has been confirmed.

This doesn't affect just pensioners, it affect many innocent victims who depend in international incomes, freelancers dor example, and they are not in the sanction list that Go.UK provides. This is discrimination from all banks who do "economical management": so top government officials tell me by email. Unfortunately ,they can't handle individual cases, but they gave me links of who can.

@John.WS  HSBC is being sold to Expobank (a sanstioned bank) at a 90% discount. The DWP inform me they don't know when this problem will be resolved and even if the Ukraine episode finishes tomorrow it will be years before things return to the way they were

    @[link under review] HSBC is being sold to Expobank (a sanstioned bank) at a 90% discount. The DWP inform me they don't know when this problem will be resolved and even if the Ukraine episode finishes tomorrow it will be years before things return to the way they were


Only HSBC in Russia

We will have to coordinate a campaign - Human rights angle probably way to go

HSBC is being sold to Expobank (a sanctioned bank) at a 90% discount. The DWP inform me they don't know when this problem will be resolved and even if the Ukraine episode finishes tomorrow it will be years before things return to the way they were

This may have an solution, but it could be difficult.

What you need is an account in a non-sanctioned country that is non-swift/visa/mastercard and will deal with Russian banks.

China may hold possibilities if they allow non-resident accounts.

Time to explore

We can't wait years, there is a need to get this matter resolved with the banks. Surely there must be contacts in regards to human rights and discrimination, especially for those not on the sanctioned list. My hope is on Trump (Republicans) winning the next election in November and a peace agreement as promised. Everybody has the right to a fully functioning international bank account, One place I have a right to seek arbitration is with ICE, as the matter has not been resolved for 6 months minimum, in my case over a year. … e-examiner

@John.WS I've tried many obstacles, first, most require personal visits, many expect some form of business activity in that country, many refuse those with tax paying residency in Russia, even when you find an online application. However if you find something, I would be grateful of useful links.

Your problem is you're trying to fight massive financial interests.

You will lose unless you find an account in a non-sheep country the UK will pay your pension into AND will deal with Russia.

Good luck

We can't fight the sanctions in place, we can't alone fight the banks in regards to their stubbornness across the board, but I think it's possible to persuade banks to ease up in pensioners in Russia getting their pensions, not listed as sanctioned. We need arbitration to assist us.

Only a peace agreement will work, then an end to sanctions, allowing banks to work internationally and bring back swift and international cash transactions with Russia, Ukraine, EU, UK and of course USA. This may begin with the Republicans, (Trump) taking power in November. I am sure they will win, and they have a different opinion (put your country first) compared to the Democrats who caused this mess in the first place, in fact a mess in the whole world.

Are British pensioners living in Russia discriminated against by banks (in terms of receiving their income from the UK) compared to other overseas pensioners? Yes, they are.

Do British pensioners in Russia have the same rights as other overseas pensioners? Yes, we do.

Are British pensions paid to Russia on the sanctions list? No, they aren't.

We are not customers or have accounts with the banks (particularly Citibank) that provide the cash transaction services, i.e. the DWP (Overseas Pensions Off). These rights must be enforced by

legal action on our behalf if necessary. We can only go to arbitration with the DWS. To make sure they come up with a solution. If the problem persists over 6 months, which it has beginning January 2024, you can see seek arbitration from ICE … rimination



Can you name one? And would we have to travel with a personal visit, only to be refused? Then you have to transfer the cash into a Russian bank account. Maybe using Profee card to card.

Making a complaint … -procedure

Case examiner contact: … e-examiner

Can you name one? And would we have to travel with a personal visit, only to be refused? Then you have to transfer the cash into a Russian bank account. Maybe using Profee card to card.


One for you guys to work out.

You need a non-sanctioned country that can use SWIFT or whatever to get paid into, but has a non-US option so you can transfer to Russia or pay with their card.

I get UK transfers without any issues. I have a non-Visa/Mastercard account I can use that has zero to do with the United States, thus they can stuff their sanctions where the sun don't shine.

I know it works within ASEAN but I don't know if it works in Russia.

Maybe look at this -

Do you have to visit that non sanctioned Country? Are there any with online applications? And what do they require from you on getting that account. receipts, residence, etc. Putting aside we have limited and very expensive travel options in Russia. Nearby travel options, (with their problems) Estonia, Finland, Georgia. We could return to UK, no direct flight and much more expensive,  not much good when you have a dependent Russian family, and banks will be expecting you to stay and will seek residence  evidence, utility bills etc.

We need a bank willing to accept and send international cash transactions. Unicredit Bank offers that, but I haven't received an answer from the pension office whether they are willing to give them a try.

The situation here is a microcosm of a worldwide problem.

Even countries without serious issues with the US realised there was a massive potential future danger if they continued using the US Dollar and US controlled international banking systems. That means a lot are switching to internal or regional systems but holding onto the US based versions to ensure continuity.

The trick is finding a legitimate bank in one of those countries that will allow you to open an account from outside their borders.

The list of Dollar ditching countries is getting longer, so your chances are getting better.

Russia has an approved countries list … aign=cppst

Watch out for scammers

What we need is a list of banks capable of sending money from UK to Russia. We need one of those Banks to refer to the pension office that can and will send money to Russia, Citibank was the bank they used, and no longer transfers cash to Russia due to sanctions. Unicredit bank can do this, and continues to receive international money. I have an account with them in Russia, it is an international bank with an office in London and branches throughout Europe. But no answer from the banking pension office in regards to whether they have made contact with Unicredit bank (London or Europe) and whether they are prepared to make the cash transactions.  The other option is Profee, but that is card to card, not account to account., I have informed the pension office several times, in writing, snail mail,and several emails.

Much as it is a necessity for all of us to have a fully functioning banking account (and our right) banks are very bad at providing email contacts for inquiries, and if you find one, very bad at finding one. Even if you get an answer it is extremely ague, and appears to be an automated general not answering your specific inquiry. Banks are totally useless if you don't have an account with them, and almost as bad if you do, unless it is something automated they want to know.

So if anyone has a list of all banks capable of sending money to Russia so that we may investigate as will they, and if not why not.  Pensions to Russia are not sanctioned.

Apparently, I can only seek arbitration against the Pension office for not coming up with  a result since February 2023. I can't seek arbitration against Citibank and all banks because I am not their customer and don't have an account with them, yet they are the cause of this problem, along with the sanctions. The sanctions (stupid as they are)  are too big a fight for one individual.