The American bank Goldman Sachs continued to work with the British fund The Potanin Foundation, founded by one of the richest businessmen in Russia, Vladimir Potanin. Despite the businessman falling under UK sanctions, the bank provides banking services to his fund and helps in managing investments, Bloomberg writes.
Before making such a decision, the bank analyzed the situation together with an external adviser, an informed source told the agency.
The bank itself claims that they have taken all measures so as not to violate the sanctions. A representative of Goldman Sachs, in a conversation with Bloomberg, noted that the Potanin fund follows the licenses of the UK Office for the application of financial sanctions. According to him, it is managed by an independent director appointed by the UK Charity Commission.
At the same time, another American bank, JPMorgan, approached the situation quite differently. He served Potanin’s The Potanin Foundation for 10 years, but refused to do so after the billionaire got on the UK sanctions list.
Such a different approach of banks to the implementation of sanctions suggests that Wall Street companies may interact differently with affected customers.
Goldman Sachs probably did a very thorough risk analysis, Michel Lindemann, sanctions lawyer for Crowell & Moring, told the agency. According to him, such decisions are made at a very high level.
Potanin established The Potanin Foundation about 20 years ago and invested $100 million in it, Bloomberg learned from British documents. Through US banks, he managed $134 million in assets, as of the end of 2021. The fund paid banks for services from about $600,000 to $800,000 each year, Bloomberg specifies.
After Potanin was sanctioned, the Charity Commission began an audit of the fund. The entrepreneur was removed from management.
On the eve of Bloomberg reported that the US Treasury warned banks against too strict enforcement of sanctions. The authorities are not satisfied that banks, trying to comply with restrictions, may refuse to serve customers, including ordinary Americans, the agency noted.