DOJ Investigates Credit Suisse, UBS for Sanctions Violations

• The US Department of Justice is investigating two Swiss financial firms, Credit Suisse Group AG and UBS Group AG, to check if the firms facilitated Russians users in evading sanctions.
• Subpoenas have been issued by US authorities to the banking firms requesting information about their dealings with sanctioned users.
• BNP Paribas pleaded guilty to charges of processing transactions with the companies from sanctioned areas and agreed to pay $9 billion in fines.

US Department Of Justice Investigates Swiss Financial Firms

The United States Department Of Justice (DOJ) is investigating two Swiss financial companies, Credit Suisse Group AG and UBS Group AG, for possible violations of US sanctions against Russia. In an effort to uncover any activities that may have violated federal laws, DOJ has sent out subpoenas (court orders asking someone to appear in court) to these banking firms requesting information related to their dealings with sanctioned entities.

Subpoenas Issued Before Merger Between Credit Suisse And UBS

It was reported that the subpoenas were sent out before UBS’s takeover of Credit Suisse, adding that many other large institutions received similar requests from US authorities during this period. DOJ seeks to determine whether personnel at the banks facilitated sanctioned users and how they screened them over the past years. Any identified violation will be subject to further scrutiny by US authorities.

Credit Suisse Served Russians At Its Best Before War

Before the war between Ukraine and Russia started, Credit Suisse was known for its services towards Russian customers. Reportedly earning between $500 million-$600 million each year from Russian individuals managing around $60 billion in assets, it held more than $33 billion when it closed its operations with Russia in May 2022. This amount was more than half of what competitor UBS held at the time.

BNP Paribas Pleads Guilty To Charges

In a related case, Paris-based BNP Paribas pleaded guilty to charges of processing transactions with companies from areas under sanction including Iran, Sudan, and Cuba and agreed to pay a hefty fine amounting up to $9 billion as penalty for such activities.

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