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EFG accelerates BSI Singapore unit purchase after license loss
[ZURICH] EFG International AG will accelerate its purchase of private bank BSI SA's Singapore business after the country's financial regulator stripped the unit of its banking license for breaching money laundering rules.
The unit will now be acquired from BTG Pactual Group by the end of November at the latest, the Swiss bank said in a statement on Thursday after market close. The overall terms of the deal between EFG and BTG for the purchase of the entire BSI business won't change.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore withdrew BSI's license for breaches of money laundering rules, including its failure to conduct due diligence on high-risk accounts and monitor suspicious customer transactions. Swiss regulator Finma also issued a penalty of 95 million Swiss francs (S$130 million) against the bank because of its ties to troubled 1Malaysia Development Bhd. US, Swiss and Singaporean prosecutors are investigating whether as much as US$4 billion may have been embezzled and laundered through the Malaysian development fund.
Both 1MDB and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, who headed the fund's advisory board, have repeatedly denied wrongdoing.