– Did CS and UBS help Russian clients avoid sanctions?
The US Department of Justice suspects that the two major banks treated the Russian sanctions too leniently. According to a report, the United States now wants to conduct a comprehensive investigation into the matter.
According to a report American news agency Bloomberg The US Department of Justice is investigating UBS. This is because CS may have helped Russian agents evade US sanctions.
The US judicial system wants to know from UBS how it and Credit Suisse handled the accounts of sanctioned clients in recent years, Bloomberg writes. However, investigators have not yet requested any interviews with managers or employees.
Last spring, the US Department of Justice sent a series of subpoenas to banks. This has now expanded into a full-scale investigation, Bloomberg wrote, citing people familiar with the matter.
More than 1,000 wealthy Russians are on the US sanctions list
Meanwhile, the Department also notified UBS’s US lawyers of alleged violations of the sanctions provisions by CS, which was acquired by UBS. Possible misconduct by UBS is also being investigated. The investigation is still at a very early stage, according to a Bloomberg report.
The investigation relates not only to sanctions imposed after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022, but also to previous rounds of sanctions. For example, after the annexation of Crimea in 2014. The United States has blacklisted more than a thousand wealthy Russians in the past decade.
UBS did not comment to Bloomberg. UBS has not yet responded to a request from this editorial team.
UBS shares reacted negatively to the report. After the news was announced, it initially fell by more than 7 percent, but at the close of trading it was still just under 3 percent.
Inquiries by US authorities were made directly to UBS rather than using formal administrative assistance. Normally, foreign claimants must submit an application to the Swiss authorities. The Federal Justice Office told Bloomberg that it has not yet received any inquiries from the United States regarding this matter.
It is also possible that the United States wants to increase pressure on Switzerland. According to the report, US officials are frustrated because they believe Switzerland is not doing enough to enforce sanctions against Russia and combat money laundering. (jb/bb)