Breaking News
0
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your Investing.com experience. Save up to 40% More details

Chinese activist Ai Weiwei says Credit Suisse closing his foundation's bank account

Stock MarketsSep 07, 2021 03:01PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei speaks during an interview with Reuters in Montemor-O-Novo, Portugal, March 3, 2021. Picture taken March 3, 2021. REUTERS/Pedro Nunes/File Photo 2/2

By Rachel Armstrong and Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi

(Reuters) -Chinese dissident and artist Ai Weiwei has said Credit Suisse (SIX:CSGN) told him it was closing his foundation's bank account in Switzerland earlier this year citing his "criminal record" in China, despite the activist never being convicted of a crime.

One of China's most high-profile artists and political activists, Ai, who now lives in Portugal, wrote in an opinion piece for website Artnet how he was first told by the Swiss bank that it would close the account in the spring of this year.

"Credit Suisse initially informed me that they had a new policy to terminate all bank accounts which are related to people with criminal records," Ai told Reuters in an emailed statement, adding the foundation had been asked at the time to move the funds before September.

The bank declined to comment.

Ai helped design the 2008 Beijing Olympics' famed Bird's Nest stadium before falling foul of the communist government, which detained him for 81 days in 2011. He said he has never been formally charged or convicted of a crime.

Ai said Credit Suisse then called him on June 24 to say the bank would like to close the account, which belonged to a free speech and arts foundation he started in 2016, "as soon as possible". He said managers then referred to an interview he had done with a Swiss newspaper several days before, in which he criticised Swiss people for voting in favour of tighter "anti-immigrant policies" as a reason for the closure.

Credit Suisse declined to comment on any of his allegations, saying it does not discuss "potential or existing client relationships".

Ai told Reuters the account was currently in the process of being closed and could only be used in a very limited manner, but funds still needed to be moved out of it.

CHINA STRATEGY

Many major Western banks, including Credit Suisse, have made winning business from China's ever-growing ranks for the ultra-wealthy a central part of their strategies. However, this has thrown up geopolitical issues for several of them when trying to stay in favour with Beijing.

Last year Reuters reported that global wealth managers, including Credit Suisse, were examining whether their clients in Hong Kong had ties to the city's pro-democracy movement, in an attempt to avoid getting caught in the crosshairs of China's new national security law.

Like other wealth managers, Credit Suisse has made its sponsorship of the arts a selling point with its collecting-savvy clientele, acting as a patron to numerous museums in Switzerland and internationally, while also building up its own collection of more than 8,000 artworks focussed particularly on emerging artists.

Ai said he had previously faced similar actions from a bank in Germany and another in Hong Kong, but in neither instance had an explanation been given.

"You know, these banks are very arrogant," Ai said, adding he did not believe Credit Suisse would reverse its decision. "Even if they do reverse this decision, I am not willing to be associated with a bank which has such a strange relationship with China."

Chinese activist Ai Weiwei says Credit Suisse closing his foundation's bank account
 

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Comments (2)
David David
David9 Sep 07, 2021 3:19PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
If he is a criminal then the bank is correct to close his account.
Mike ND
Mike ND Sep 07, 2021 3:19PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
But your a commie so your opinion doesnt matter
David David
David9 Sep 07, 2021 3:19PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Mike ND how am I commie?
Felipe Daniel
Felipe Daniel Sep 07, 2021 10:40AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Credit Suisse did not care about Jeffrey Epstein multiple accounts for decades used directly for human traficking. CS move against Ai Weiwei is all about pleasing the CCP.
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email