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March 11, 2022

Credit Suisse addresses “not significant” market risk exposure in Russia

By Patrick Brusnahan

In a statement released by the bank, Credit Suisse stated its market risk exposure to Russia was “not significant”.

It also announced that it will be applying sanctions as a matter of “principle and policy”.

Thomas Gottstein, CEO of Credit Suisse Group, stated: “I speak for the whole Executive Board of Credit Suisse when saying we are deeply saddened by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. We condemn this invasion and the serious breaches of international law. The instability that these events are creating for societies and countries across the globe will have far-reaching consequences, and our thoughts go out to all those impacted. While we do not have a physical presence in Ukraine, we are committed to providing support to our colleagues and their families within the region. In addition, we have launched a bank-wide appeal in aid of select Red Cross organizations in which Credit Suisse will match the charitable contributions that our employees are making on a one-for-one basis.”

“In purely financial terms, we have reviewed our positions and believe that the bank’s exposure in relation to Russia is well-managed, with appropriate systems in place to address associated risks. The current environment means making difficult decisions and managing through challenging situations, but always with a clear sense of perspective and the desire to do the right thing. As a matter of principle and policy, Credit Suisse applies all sanctions, in particular those issued by the EU, the United States and by Switzerland.”

Credit Suisse exposures in Russia

Credit Suisse has a number of exposures in Russia, including net credit exposure of CHF848m as of December 31 2021. These have been reduced since that date, but 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.

In addition, net assets held in its Russian arms, JSC “Bank Credit Suisse (Moscow)” and LLC “Credit Suisse Securities (Moscow)” totalled CHF195m

As of March 7 2022, there were minimal total credit exposures towards specifically sanctioned individuals managed by the wealth management branch.

Credit Suisse has an office in Russia with around 125 employees working across wealth management and the investment bank.

The statement continued: “It is premature to estimate the potential impact of the war in Ukraine on the global economy and markets and on our clients’ risk appetite. However, in the short term, the resultant increase in trading and hedging business activity is expected to be offset by a reduction in capital market issuances due to the rise in volatility as well as by higher credit provisions.”

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