UBS bars new clients from Turkmenistan to mitigate money-laundering risks

The Swiss bank UBS, which completed its acquisition of a struggling bank Credit Suisse, implemented stringent measures for Credit Suisse bankers, which prohibits them from accepting new clients from high-risk countries and giving them risky loans. UBS bought Credit Suisse in the first half of 2023. Upon the merger of the two banks, the most of Credit Suisse staff became the employees of UBS.

Credit Suisse used to offer banking services to some of the world’s wealthiest individuals around the world. However, in an effort to mitigate the risks associated with money laundering, bribery, and corruption, UBS executives prohibited Credit Suisse bankers from bringing on new clients from 28 high-risk countries, including Turkmenistan, among others. From Central Asian countries Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan were also included among high-risk countries.

Credit Suisse has historically demonstrated a greater inclination to accommodate risky clients and provide expensive loans. In recent years, Credit Suisse encountered a string of scandals and crises as a result of their approach towards risks. UBS executives also instructed Credit Suisse bankers in Switzerland to seek permission from UBS before granting loans to borrowers outside of Switzerland and for financing foreign property.

In 2022, Credit Suisse bankers reportedly asked its investors to destroy documents related to the yachts and private jets of its wealthiest clients in response to revelations made by the Financial Times regarding a deal involving loans provided by Credit Suisse to Russian oligarchs who were sanctioned by the US.

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