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Credit Suisse says committed to Russia after U.S. sanctions

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By Reuters
Credit Suisse says committed to Russia after U.S. sanctions
FILE PHOTO: Switzerland's national flag flies next to the logo of Swiss bank Credit Suisse at a branch office in Luzern, Switzerland October 19, 2017. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann   -   Copyright  Arnd Wiegmann(Reuters)

LONDON (Reuters) – Credit Suisse <CSGN.S> said it remained committed to Russia after it ringfenced 5 billion Swiss francs (£3.9 billion) of customer money linked to Russia for fear of falling foul of U.S. sanctions.

The Swiss bank said on Thursday that customers that were not sanctioned would not be affected by its move in the second quarter, which it said “does not represent a freezing of the assets”.

“Credit Suisse reclassified certain impacted assets from assets under management to assets under custody,” a spokeswoman for the bank said, adding that this had not resulted in a financial loss for the bank.

“We remain highly committed to Russia and continue to monitor developments,” she said.

The move by Credit Suisse, which owned aircraft surrendered by Russian tycoon Oleg Deripaska and had lent money to Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg before sanctions, underscores a widespread fear among banks of reprisal from Washington.

For Russia’s elite, such steps could close off an important avenue for finance as well as a safe haven for billions of roubles of their wealth.

(Reporting By John O’Donnell; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)