The Swiss banks Credit Suisse and UBS came under suspicion from the US Department of Justice in the issue of helping Russian individuals and legal entities to circumvent Western sanctions. We are talking about the oligarchs, who, according to sources, support Russian President Vladimir Putin. Bloomberg writes about this, citing sources.
Moreover, the American authorities check not only banks as a whole, but also individual employees who are suspected of assisting Russian counterparties - subpoenas came to specific managers and consultants from both financial institutions. Swiss banks declined to comment officially.
The source notes that similar measures were taken in relation to some employees of the largest US banks, the source of the agency claims, without mentioning the names of the companies. The American authorities intend to analyze the interaction of bankers with sanctioned legal entities and individuals.
Swiss banks have traditionally been among the most sought-after among the Russian elite, who regularly used their services to manage their own extensive networks of assets. Before the war, Credit Suisse managed about $33 billion, about twice as much as its UBS counterparts. Asset management of Russian clients brought Credit Suisse about $500-600 million a year.
The consequences for banks can be really serious, the US has already made harsh decisions against the French bank BNP Paribas, which cooperated with sanctioned Cuban, Iranian and Sudanese counterparties, the bank had to pay a fine of $9 billion. And the British Standard Chartered paid $1 billion in 2019 for the help of an employee to the citizens of Iran. For Swiss banks, which are in a vulnerable position due to the merger deal , such costs will be significant, by comparison, the amount of state assistance to UBS bank to cover the value of Credit Suisse's negative assets is estimated at $9.8 billion.