Troubled Credit Suisse and its rescuer, USB, are the subject of an investigation into whether the banker helped Russian oligarchs avoid Western sanctions, media reports say. The report states. Major U.S. banking institutions are also under scrutiny in the investigation launched by the Justice Department, sources said.
Credit Suisse Investigates U.S. Bank for Violating Sanctions That Favor Wealthy Russians
Credit Suisse and UBS, two global investment banking and financial services firms based in Switzerland, are under scrutiny by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Bloomberg has learned, based on anonymous sources.
According to the source, the agency is trying to determine whether financial experts working for these and other banks helped sanction wealthy Russians seeking to circumvent restrictions imposed by Western governments.
U.S. authorities have sent numerous subpoenas to employees of two major Swiss companies and several large U.S. banks, two people familiar with the inquiry told the magazine. They want to identify bankers and advisors who have worked with such clients over the past few years and find out whether any laws have been violated.
The Justice Department requested information on the case before Credit Suisse’s recent crisis erupted; in early March, the bank’s share price fell to a record low amid a loss of investor confidence. The bank borrowed $54 billion from the Swiss National Bank and UBS came to its rescue with a state-backed takeover offer.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine led to a massive expansion of sanctions against the government in Moscow and influential figures affiliated with the Kremlin, including oligarchs. Prior to that, the report noted, Credit Suisse was a well-known financial institution for wealthy Russians.
At one point, it managed more than $60 billion for them, generating up to $600 million in annual revenue; when it ended its business relationship with Russian retail clients in May 2022, the bank held about $33 billion of their money, 50% more than UBS.
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