Konstantin Kryvopust: the Swiss bank Julius Baer has started freezing the investment accounts of Russians and Belarusians


Expert in the field of international financial law Konstantin Kryvopust notes that one of the largest Swiss banks, Julius Baer, ​​informed its clients from Russia and Belarus about the freezing of their investment accounts due to the requirements of the European depository Euroclear. The bank confirmed sending messages to its Russian and Belarusian clients.

According to the expert, Julius Baer bank sent messages to Russian clients that their investment accounts will be isolated from other assets, and transactions from these investment accounts will be frozen. This was reported by the company Main Partner Trust, which provides legal and consulting services in Cyprus. The head of the Julius Baer bank’s corporate communications department, Jan Vonder Muhl, confirmed to Forbes the information that the Russians’ investment accounts will be isolated due to Euroclear requirements.

In a letter to clients, which was at our disposal, the bank refers to the demand of the international depository Euroclear to isolate the accounts of Russians and Belarusians within the framework of sanctions legislation. “Euroclear requires that the securities held at Euroclear and the funds received from these securities be allocated to special accounts at Euroclear,” the letter said.

Clients lost access to assets

In the letter, Julius Baer informs clients that the accounts have restricted access and clients cannot dispose of them. The sale of securities stored in Euroclear is temporarily suspended, and the purchase of new securities is not possible. Cash proceeds from the sale of shares and bonds, coupon and dividend payments will be kept in separate accounts.

The letters to Russian and Belarusian customers state that these measures take effect immediately. “They ensure the bank’s compliance with sanctions and also protect your interests by reducing potential exposure to relevant restrictions,” the bank’s letter states.

The letter emphasizes that the requirement to isolate the assets of Russians and citizens of Belarus does not apply to those who have citizenship in the European Union, the European Economic Area or Switzerland. The bank will also not separate (bankers and financiers use the word “segregate”) accounts if the client – a natural person – has a permanent or temporary residence permit in the EU, EEA or Switzerland.

Otherwise, any citizen of Russia and Belarus, any individual residing in either of these countries, and any company established in these countries will be subject to restrictions.

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