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Troubled Swiss bank BSI says new management not linked to 1MDB scandal

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The newly appointed chief executive of Swiss bank BSI, which has been ordered to shut down over its alleged role in a massive Malaysian money-laundering scandal, insisted Thursday the current management was not implicated in the case.

[GENEVA] The newly appointed chief executive of Swiss bank BSI, which has been ordered to shut down over its alleged role in a massive Malaysian money-laundering scandal, insisted Thursday the current management was not implicated in the case.

Board member Roberto Isolani, who took over as CEO following the resignation of Stefano Coduri on Tuesday, said the accusations levelled at the Lugano-based bank dated back "three to four years" and belonged to the past.

"There is no proof that current members of the board of directors or management are involved in the case," he told the Swiss daily Corriere del Ticino.

Swiss financial regulators on Tuesday approved the dissolution of the BSI bank, citing "serious breaches" of money-laundering regulations in its dealings with the Malaysian state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

Malaysia's prime minister, who founded 1MDB in 2009, has battled allegations that billions were looted from the investment vehicle in a vast campaign of fraud and embezzlement stretching from the Middle East to the Caymans.

Swiss supervisor Finma said it was approving the takeover of the merchant bank BSI by Zurich-based private banking group EFG International on the condition that BSI is integrated "and thereafter dissolved" within 12 months.

It ordered the seizure of 95 million Swiss francs (S$132 million) of BSI's "illegally generated" profits, and said it was investigating two former top managers.

AFP