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BSI says it has cooperated fully with Swiss, Singapore authorities in 1MDB probe

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Swiss private bank BSI SA said on Tuesday it has cooperated fully with the authorities in Switzerland and Singapore in the probe into 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) arising from activities occurring between 2011 and April 2015.

SWISS private bank BSI SA said on Tuesday it has cooperated fully with the authorities in Switzerland and Singapore in the probe into 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) arising from activities occurring between 2011 and April 2015.

The Lugano-based wealth manager, whose Singapore branch and staff are at the centre of a massive probe into 1MDB for alleged money-laundering offences, among others, also announced that its group chief executive, Stefano Coduri, has resigned with immediate effect. He will be succeeded by BSI board member Roberto Isolani, who will be responsible for running the bank and guaranteeing a smooth integration with EFG International.

(EFG International, a Swiss-headquartered bank authorised by Switzerland's financial authority, is acquiring BSI Group from Brazil's BTG Pactual and the transaction is expected to be completed by the fourth quarter of this year).

In relation to a statement issued by Switzerland's Office of Attorney-General on Tuesday, BSI said it will cooperate to ensure a "quick and fair resolution".

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The bank said the financial penalties levied by the regulators in Switzerland and Singapore will be paid from BSI's general reserves for banking risks and that it remains well capitalised with "excellent liquidity and solvency ratios".

It added that it has put in place measures to improve the risks and compliance culture in the bank and has undertaken significant steps to strengthen management.

"BSI acknowledges that these events are important steps with regard to the regulators to resolve legacy issues and removing uncertainty for clients and staff in relation to 1MDB," it continued.

The statement by the bank also follows an announcement on Tuesday by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) that it has directed BSI Bank Ltd (BSI Singapore) to shut down in Singapore for serious breaches of anti-money laundering requirements, poor management oversight of the bank's operations, and gross misconduct by some of the bank's staff.

BSI Singapore has been operating as a merchant bank here since November 2005, offering private banking services.

In the interest of the customers of BSI Bank, MAS said it will allow the transfer of the Singapore subsidiary's assets and liabilities to the Singapore branch of EFG Bank AG or to the parent entity, BSI SA.

In acknowledging MAS's nod to allow for the transfer of the assets and liabilities of BSI Singapore to the Singapore branch of EFG Bank AG, BSI said it was working closely with Singapore and Swiss financial regulators to oversee an orderly transfer.

"Clients of BSI Bank Limited are assured that both BSI and EFG are working for a fast and smooth transition. The Singapore subsidiary also has the full support of its parent bank, BSI," it added.

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