Switzerland's largest bank suspected of violating anti-Russian sanctions
Credit Suisse (CS) was also under the close attention of the US department, requests for employees of which were sent even before the bank's takeover in the second half of March 2023. After that, the Ministry of Justice informed the American lawyers of UBS about the alleged violations of the sanctions regime by CS. However, the investigation is still at an early stage of development, so the agency is not in a hurry to make specific charges, the agency's interlocutors said.
Before the takeover by UBS, Credit Suisse was known for servicing the accounts of wealthy Russians. At the peak of the bank's development, it held similar assets totaling more than $60 billion, which brought in $500-600 million in revenue on an annual basis. By the time CS stopped interacting with individual Russian clients in May 2022, assets associated with Russian citizens were estimated at about $33 billion, which turned out to be 50 percent more compared to UBS. It is for this reason that the US Department of Justice did not remove suspicion from CS even after its merger, the sources concluded.
If violations of the sanctions regime are detected, the management of UBS may face multibillion-dollar fines. Prior to that, French BNP Paribas and international Standard Chartered Bank faced similar payments for violations of restrictions against Sudanese, Iranian and Cuban organizations, which suffered losses of almost nine billion dollars and more than a billion dollars, respectively.
In the second half of May, the G7 countries issued a joint statement following the Hiroshima summit and agreed to stop attempts to circumvent sanctions against the Russian financial system through foreign bank branches. At the same time, Western states have left the opportunity to coordinate actions to preserve financial channels for "fundamentally important transactions."