06 October 2022,   10:59
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Bank relies only on the resolution of the European Parliament, which is of a recommendatory nature and does not produce any legal consequences - lawyer of Bidzina Ivanishvili on Credit Suisse

Bidzina Ivanishvili received a letter from Credit Suisse, explaining that the European Parliament’s resolution imposing sanctions on Ivanishvili created regulatory obligations on the part of the bank and that the trust will no longer carry out its actions without court approval. Such a statement released the law office “MKD”, representing Bidzina Ivanishvili’s interests.

“In addition to legal disputes, which are taking place in Bermuda, Singapore and Switzerland, Mr. Ivanishvili has his significant assets entrusted to Credit Suisse trust companies. These assets are not disputed and are not subject to review in any jurisdiction. This statement refers to the shocking violations committed by the bank.

In May 2022, information was published in the international press that there was a gross violation of client rights and political pressure on the part of the Swiss bank. We want to remind the public of the chronology of events:

The neglect of the beneficiary’s interests started as early as March 2022, when it took 1 month for the beneficiary’s transfer instructions to be executed. It was during this kind of delay that the bank indicated for the first time that its inactivity and non-fulfillment of the client’s task were related to the ongoing geopolitical events in Eastern Europe. It was clear that the discussion was about the ongoing war in Ukraine. Despite the fact that the bank was explained that the beneficiary was not a Russian citizen, had no business interests in Russia, was not a sanctioned person, and the disposal of his own money couldn’t be hindered due to the war for any other reason, it still took 1 month to complete the task.

Already in response to the April 11, 2022 request to the trust to transfer certain funds, the trust asked identical questions to the beneficiary on April 13, April 20, May 5 and May 20, despite the fact that it received full, comprehensive information in response to the first question. Despite the fact that the beneficiary asked the trust what was additionally needed from the client, what information, what document, what type of signature was missing, etc., the trust stubbornly asked questions that had already been answered. On May 5, the representative of the trust promised the client that s/he would prepare the drafts of the necessary documents and send them to the beneficiary for signature. It seems, they forgot what they had said and after 2 weeks of not sending the documents, on May 19, they remembered the old questions and sent questions instead of documents.

On July 5, the client received a letter from the bank, which talks about the resolution of the European Parliament, by which it called on the European Council to consider imposing sanctions on Mr. Ivanishvili. The bank clarifies that the said resolution allegedly created regulatory obligations on the part of the bank and that the trust will no longer carry out its activities without the approval of the court.

This message of the bank is unprecedented both in law and in the practice of financial institutions, such occurrence is alien and inappropriate not only for the Swiss level, but even for developing countries’ levels. It is obvious that the management of the bank is in a mode of self-harm.

In its message, the bank relies only on the resolution of the European Parliament, which, as is well known to the public, is of a recommendatory nature and does not produce any legal consequences. The bank’s reference to abstract “regulatory obligations” is inappropriate, especially since both the bank and the public are well aware that none of the executive bodies of the EU: neither the European Commission nor the European Council have shared a recommendation on sanctions. The document, which is a continuation of the resolution of the European Parliament and which recognized the European perspective of Georgia, is the proof of the mentioned, because if the executive bodies of the European Union had shared the resolution of the Parliament in the part of sanctions, then it would have been reflected in the decision of the European Council, which, as is known, did not happen. With this, practically, the issue is closed. Nevertheless, the bank returns to the resolution which was adopted a month ago and talks about it as a valid document. It is interesting how long the bank is going to make a reference to a document that has not been shared by any of the EU executive structures”, - reads the statement.

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