According to press reports, a US congressional committee has questioned Swiss banking giant Credit Suisse over compliance with US and international sanctions imposed on Russia, especially as the group manages the fortunes of a number of wealthy Russians.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Caroline Maloney, chairwoman of the US House Oversight and Reform Committee, and Stephen Lynch, head of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee, requested in a letter to Thomas Gotstein, director Swiss group executive, information on managing the wealth of the Russian rich.
And the Bloomberg news agency indicated that Switzerland’s role as a haven for the fortunes of wealthy Russians has come under intense scrutiny, following criticism of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky for Switzerland’s lack of cooperation with international sanctions imposed. to Russia.
Gutstein said earlier this month that about 4% of the assets managed by the Swiss banking group’s wealth management arm belong to Russian people, whether they live in Russia or abroad.
This comes at a time when Credit Suisse Group has suspended any new activity in Russia, while the volume of its existing business and investments there has been reduced due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
According to an internal memo seen by Bloomberg News, the Swiss group is also helping its clients downsize their investments at risk in Russia.
Credit Suisse said it has moved many jobs and businesses out of Russia and is helping employees move elsewhere.
The Credit Suisse group joined a growing list of international banks that have either abandoned the Russian market or reduced their presence there in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Credit Suisse had previously disclosed that it had 848 million francs ($914 million) worth of investments at risk in Russia because it was linked to Russian individuals subject to Western sanctions, becoming the latest European bank to disclose its Russian investments at risk since. the Russian invasion. from Ukraine two weeks ago.
He added that investments exposed to risk include financial derivatives, financing in investment banking, financing of commercial transactions, as well as loans in the retail banking sector.