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February 28, 2022updated 23 Mar 2022 1:03pm

Credit Suisse slashes lending against Russian debt amid US sanctions

Understand the impact of the Ukraine conflict from a cross-sector perspective with the Global Data Executive Briefing: Ukraine Conflict

Credit Suisse has lowered the amount it will lend to private banking clients against Russian debt amid the increasing US sanctions against Russia over the Ukraine invasion, reported Bloomberg.

The Swiss investment bank assigned a zero lending value for certain Russian bonds, indicating that it will no longer accept the debt as collateral, according to people aware of the development.

Those that have been slashed to zero includes securities of sanctions-hit Sberbank and VTB Bank, the sources said.

A spokesperson for Credit Suisse declined to comment on the news.

The development follows sanctions announced bythe US and the UK in retaliation to Russia’s military attack on Ukraine.

The sanctions target Russian lender Sberbankand four other financial institutions as well as Russian elites and their family members.

Meanwhile, the sanctions have forced a number of private banks to take measures to limit their lending on Russian debt.

Last week, Swiss investment bank UBS triggered margin calls on certain wealth management clients who use Russian bonds as collateral in a bid to limit its exposure to Russian assets.

The bank urged the investors to add either cash or securities to their portfolio after slashing the lending value of some debt from Russia to zero.

Pictet, another Swiss banking firm, was also said to be cutting the values of Russian assets in the portfolios of its customers.

Soon after Russia launched its military operation in Ukraine, German lenders Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank told clients that their direct financial exposure to Russia was ‘well contained’ and ‘manageable’.

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