According reports from Monday, March 28, Credit Suisse Group AG has suspended taking on any new business in Russia. They are apparently working to limit their exposure of the country. The suspension evidently is an extension of other global organisations distancing themselves from Russia post the start of the Ukrainian war.
A spokesperson from Credit Suisse confirmed the contents of a document that reporters gathered. According to a document, the Swiss Bank is guiding its clients towards undoing their exposure with the country. Additionally, it mentioned that it has moved roles out of Russia, and is helping employees transfer to another location.
Along with the Zurich-based bank, many other lenders either fully pulled out of the country, or limiting their business relations. Essentially, this was in retaliation for the military assault in Ukraine that still goes on. Credit Suisse confirmed in early March that it had an exposure of 848 million francs in Russia, which equals about $906 million. The exposure, the bank confirmed, was a figure from 2021, and that they had 125 employees working there. They added that around 4% of assets in the wealth management unit were with clients from Russia.
Chief Executive Thomas Gottstein said on March 15 that the bank has “a very well managed risk management around the situation.”
The CEO of its Zurich-based rival UBS Group AG, Ralph Hamers gave a statement in an event this month. He mentioned that the bank is not going for any new business in Russia. Along with it, they are working towards reducing risk for itself and and the clients. Similarly, Credit Suisse announced they would be complying with all issued sanctions, especially from Switzerland, the EU, the UK, and the US.
There has been significant investigation over the role of Switzerland as a location for the wealthy of Russia to store their money. It came forward post the criticism of the nation by the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky. Last week, the government in Bern mentioned how it had received a notification of some $6 billion in assets held by sanctioned individuals.
The wealthy of Russia, especially ones with connected to President Putin, had witnessed their assets frozen all over the world. Moreover, other rich clients of banks who borrowed against assets primarily Russian are faced with more collateral following those securities dropping in value.
Julius Baer, the Swiss private bank made a clarification last week. It said that it has exposure to many “in the low single digits,” who have been sanctioned post the war. Additionally, they are not taking any new business from clients residing in Russia.