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26 Apr, 2022 12:27

Swiss bank reveals how much Russian money it holds

UBS says its exposure to the sanctioned country is relatively small
Swiss bank reveals how much Russian money it holds

Swiss bank UBS is holding roughly $22 billion in invested assets for Russian clients. The figure was unveiled in the bank’s latest quarterly report on Tuesday.

The money belongs to Russian residents potentially affected by sanctions placed on Moscow by the EU and Switzerland in connection with Russia’s military operation in Ukraine.

This is the first time UBS, Switzerland’s largest financial institution and the largest private bank in the world, disclosed the proportion of assets it manages for Russians.

According to the quarterly report, around 0.7% of the total $3.145 trillion in invested assets in UBS’ wealth management division belongs to “Russian persons not entitled to residency in the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland,” potentially subject to sanctions-related restrictions.

Many international financial organizations have frozen the assets of Russian clients they hold due to sanctions, and UBS Chief Executive Ralph Hamers said his bank is no exception.

Hamers noted, however, that UBS would not disclose the volume of funds frozen or any other information regarding these accounts. Meanwhile, the bank’s CFO, Kirt Gardner, said that UBS recently faced “some outflow... with Russian clients as a consequence of the sanctions.”

Last month, UBS said it had limited direct exposure to Russia – around $600 million against $20.9 billion at the end of 2021 of its total emerging market exposure. By the end of March, this figure dropped to $400 million, according to the report.

In total, Swiss banks hold up to $213 billion of assets that belong to Russian residents, according to estimations by the Swiss financial industry association.

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