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March 16, 2022updated 23 Mar 2022 1:17pm

Credit Suisse reviews Russia operations as Ukraine crisis deepens

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Swiss investment bank Credit Suisse is reviewing its business in Russia as the country continues to accelerate its military invasion of Ukraine, reported Reuters.

Credit Suisse CEO Thomas Gottstein said that the firm is currently analysing the situation while no decision has been finalised regarding its Russian operations.

Gottstein was quoted as saying at Morgan Stanley’s European Financials Conference in London: “We’re now reviewing the situation. It’s a very serious situation.

“We will see over the coming months what it means for our operations. I have not taken any decision.”

Russian clients are said to account for nearly 4% of Credit Suisse’s wealth management assets.

Gottstein said: “We have roughly 4% of our assets under management in wealth management with Russian clients, be they Russian-domiciled or Russian nationals who live in the West.”

Last week, Credit Suisse stated that it will comply with Russia sanctions as a matter of ‘principle and policy’. The firm also said its market risk exposure to Russia was ‘not significant’.

The bank has a number of exposures in Russia, including net credit exposure of CHF848m as of 31 December 2021.

This also included derivatives and financing exposures in the investment bank, as well as trade finance exposures in the Swiss Universal Bank and Lombard and other loans in International Wealth Management.

Gottstein said the firm has reduced its exposure ‘materially’ by the end of last month.

The bank is also said to have minimal exposure in terms of loans granted to sanctioned individuals in its wealth management division.

Earlier this month, Credit Suisse triggered margin calls to its wealth management customers who use Russian assets as collateral after slashing lending values on Russian securities.

Credit Suisse has some 125 staff in its Moscow office across investment banking, wealth management, and other operations.

Gottstein also said that the bank is reviewing its wider operations in Eastern Europe.

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