For UBS, all Russian is “semi-sanctioned”, Corporate News

by Brenna Hughes Neghevik

ZURICH, March 16 (Reuters) – Swiss bank chief executive Ralf Hammer said on Wednesday that UBS has taken a conservative approach in the face of rapidly evolving sanctions against Russian companies and individuals. All Russians were in “semi-sanctioned” behavior.

Ralph Hammers, referring to the sanctions imposed by the United States at Morgan Stanley’s European Financial Conference, said, “We are working with our clients, including our Russian clients, on how to manage their affairs and ( limit the risk)”. The European Union, Great Britain and Switzerland since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“In principle, any Russian, any person holding a Russian passport, is semi-sanctioned (..) in the United Kingdom, the European Union and Switzerland”.

On March 7, UBS made a direct investment of $634 million in Russia.

However, this figure does not include items that are not on the bank’s balance sheet, including amounts held or invested for Russian customers, an amount UBS declined to disclose.

A March 7 report stated that UBS then had about $200 million in loans secured by Russian assets, but paid less than $10 million in loans outstanding to approved customers at the time.

Ralph Hammer said Thursday that he could not give more details because the number of accepted customers varies from day to day.

“We take the most conservative approach to making sure we stick to the restrictions,” he said, adding that some restrictions were less clearly defined than others. (Report Brenna Hughes Neghavi; French edition Valentine Baldassari, edited by Jean-Michel Bellot)

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