Swiss banks say rich Chinese clients worried about sanction prospects
Bank executives highlight concerns about business fallout from country’s tough line on Russia since Ukraine invasion
Executives at Switzerland’s biggest banks say rich Chinese clients have become much more worried about parking money in the country because of its tough approach to applying sanctions since Russia invaded Ukraine.“We were not just surprised but shocked that Switzerland abandoned its neutral status,” said one board director who oversees Asian operations at his bank. “I have statistical evidence that literally hundreds of clients that were looking to open accounts are now not.”
Although Chinese companies have been flocking to IPO in Switzerland, the Financial Times spoke to senior bankers from six of Switzerland’s top-10 biggest banks about their experience with private clients and all of them told a similar story. Many said they were worried about the chilling effect on a lucrative line of business and crucial source of future growth.
“The question of sanctions has come up with clients,” one banker said, adding: “It was definitely a topic of concern with clients late last year. They were asking whether their money would be safe with us.”