Russian Gazprombank considers sale of Swiss business

Gazprombank Switzerland has been subject to public scrutiny since it was implicated in the Panama Papers scandal six years ago. © Keystone/ Ennio Leanza

Gazprombank has announced it may sell its Swiss banking branch as it explores “potential strategic options” for its business in Switzerland.

This content was published on July 8, 2022 - 12:45

“These options include, but are not limited to, potential divestment of selected assets or the sale of the business as a whole,” the Russian-owned bank said on FridayExternal link.

The strategic review is expected to last until the end of September and may include a search for potential investors to buy the Zurich-based business.

The banking group, which was set up to provide financial services for the state-owned Russian Gazprom gas company, has yet to feel the full force of Western sanctions following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Gazprombank facilitates the export of Russian gas and oil to Europe.

In 2018, the Swiss financial regulator banned Gazprombank Switzerland accepting new private clients following a money laundering probeExternal link connected to the Panama Papers.

Another Russian bank, Sberbank, is also considering an exit from Switzerland. In March, the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (Finma) ordered special protective measures for Sberbank Switzerland after it was hit with a wide-ranging ban on making payments and transactions.

Last week, Finma partially lifted these measuresExternal link to allow the bank to pay off certain creditors. “These payments will enable the bank to reduce its balance sheet, also with a view to a possible sale or change of ownership,” Finma said.

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