Switzerland will examine the complaints of Russian business in Swiss banks

The Swiss authorities will check the cases of prejudice against Swiss banks to Russian companies and individuals, said the Deputy of the state Duma, coordinator of the parliamentary group of friendship “Russia—Switzerland” Vladimir Gutenev and confirmed his Swiss colleague Jean-françois Steiert. Russian business, working in Switzerland, complains that local banks diskriminerad clients associated with Russia, without explanation, closed the account, block trading operations. In March 2016 Gutenev, who is also the Chairman of the Duma Committee on industry, met in Berne with Deputy SteerCom and told Tom about examples of discrimination against Russian business with Swiss banks. After that, Steiert (co-chair of the inter-parliamentary group “Russia—Switzerland”), has asked the state Secretariat of Switzerland on the economy, which is part of the Ministry of economy, check out these cases. State Secretary Marie-Gabrielle Ineichen-fleich agreed to consider the issue, said Swiss parliamentarian.

According to guteneva, information about problems registered in Switzerland of Russian companies came from the Swiss-Russian industrial business club, based in neuchâtel Association, which represents the interests of workers in the country of Russian companies and entrepreneurs. Problems in relations with financial institutions of Switzerland began in 2014 when the US and EU imposed sanctions against Russia after the annexation of Crimea, said the head of the business club Sergei Ganin. Banks without explanation began to close the accounts of companies in which there is Russian involvement. We are talking about companies with state participation, as well as affiliated with the Russian state-owned corporations, these companies are engaged in export/import, consultancy, said Ganin. According to him, such victims of companies “ten”.

The press service of the state Secretariat for the economy has not responded to queries by email and phone.

“A fairly common phenomenon has become lock a transaction, or presentation of deliberately unrealistic requirements on providing documentary part of these transactions,” says Ganin. Blocked and transactions under the signed contracts. According to him, this has already led to the closure of several companies by reason of issuing penalties for non-compliance with contractual terms. Ordinary operations of companies with Russian participation has actually become impossible, says the source . “This, of course, leads to the collapse of commercial activity, those long-term plans, which were originally developed and focused on some long term,” he says. The trade turnover between Russia and Switzerland in 2015 amounted to $4.7 billion.

Avionics and electronic components

In March of this year problems of Russian business in Switzerland was discussed by the joint Russian-Swiss intergovernmental Commission which from the Russian side is headed by Minister of sport Vitaly Mutko ( failed to contact him by phone). To that meeting Ganin prepared a Memorandum in which he outlined the problems of the Russian business in Switzerland (the document is in). In it, in particular, refers to “the systematic blocking of transactions from/to Russia, sverhchelovek information about the payment or the beneficiary, to tighten requirements for issuing licenses for the export of equipment from Switzerland to Russia. Among the affected companies mentioned CIM-Ingenia SA — “daughter” Ramensky instrument design Bureau (RPKB, part of the concern KRET, owned by the state Corporation “rostec”) and Progress Industrial Systems SA, representing the interests of the Ukhta plant of high-voltage electronic components Progress.

CBSI is a leading Russian developer of avionics, systems and equipment for aircrafts, helicopters and UAV, mainly military. Before the RDC was in Switzerland, a private office, but it had to close because of the inability to open a Bank account, said Ganin (he’s the Executive Director of CIM-Ingenia and several other companies mentioned in the Memorandum). The plant “Progress”, located in the Komi Republic, produces capacitors and hydroacoustic system (including oil production) and exports its products to 10 countries in Europe, it said on its website. Representative of “Rostec” has not responded to the request , the RDC phones and factory “Progress” on Friday did not answer.

The number of banks denying service to companies associated with Russia, there are large banks, and small cantonal, said Ganin. In his Memorandum among banks, account closed or failed to open the account, named Credit Suisse, CIC SA, Julius Baer, BCN, VP Bank, UBS, Post Finance, Migros, Raiffeisen. According to Ganin, completely identical to the clients requirements, even with Russian roots, exposes and Gazprombank (Switzerland) — the Swiss subsidiary of Gazprombank. The representative of Migros Bank said only that it was “purely Swiss Bank serving private clients of Swiss and Swiss importers/exporters”. Other banks did not respond to requests .

After beginning of the Ukrainian conflict, Switzerland officially joined the sanctions the US and the EU, but has introduced measures to prevent the circumvention of international sanctions through Swiss territory and the financial system. In particular, Switzerland has banned the import of military products from Russia, has tightened the export regime of dual-use goods. According to the FCS of Russia, bilateral trade between Russia and Switzerland in 2015 decreased by 33% to $4.67 billion on a larger scale, the Russians used the Swiss financial system. At the end of 2014, according to the Central Bank of Switzerland, Russian assets in Swiss banks stood at 15.5 billion francs ($16 billion).

After discussing the problems at the March meeting of the intergovernmental Commission Swiss parliamentarians sent a request to the national Supervisory authority, but they replied that the facts of discrimination against Russian companies from the Swiss banks was not revealed, said Gutenev. The requesters explained that “it is the internal policy of the independent commercial organizations”: each Bank assesses the risks of a particular approach to clients. “In fact, we face discrimination,” — said Gutenev. Steiert adds that “if in compliance with all legal conditions (Swiss law) Swiss banks provide services to companies from the US, but withhold the same services from Russia, then that is a clear example of discrimination”. According to guteneva, now Swiss MPs is initiating a new check. It will either help solve the problem with the accounts, or at least will give a clear and intelligible explanation of the reasons for its occurrence, hopes Ganin.

with the participation of Olga Volkova, Anna Mogilev