UBS Cuts Ties With Ivory Coast Clients, SonntagsZeitung Reports

UBS Group AG is cutting ties with clients who reside in the Ivory Coast, according to a report from Swiss newspaper SonntagsZeitung.

Switzerland’s biggest wealth manager is closing the accounts and credit cards of all clients who live in the West African country, according to the newspaper. SonntagsZeitung cited a written communication from UBS to a client earlier this month that said accounts domiciled in the Ivory Coast will be closed.

A spokesman for UBS declined to comment.

Wealth managers have grappled with the cost of doing business in parts of Africa while also complying with anti-money-laundering requirements as regulators step up pressure to combat frauds. Two years ago Nigera’s central bank announced that HSBC Holdings Plc and UBS had shut their local representative offices in the country, without specifying a reason for the closure.

Swiss prosecutors in June opened a criminal investigation into “persons unknown” on suspicion of money laundering over the awarding of $2 billion worth of loans by Credit Suisse Group AG and another lender to state-owned companies in Mozambique.

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