Compliance

Swiss Regulator Reportedly Poised To Evict Falcon Private Bank

Tom Burroughes, Group Editor, 30 April 2020

articleimage

A newswire report, quoting unnamed sources, said the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority could force the bank to cease operating in the country as soon as the end of this week. The bank declined to comment.

Switzerland’s main financial regulator, FINMA, was tight-lipped yesterday on a media report that controversy-hit Falcon Private Bank was poised to be stripped of its bank licence in the Alpine state. 

Reuters reported (27 April), based on two unnamed sources, that the watchdog will act as soon as the end of this week. Falcon Private Bank, which is owned by Abu Dhabi state fund Mubadala Investment Company, has continuously failed to meet regulatory requirements. 

“Falcon employees are preparing to wind down the institute,” a source was quoted by the newswire as saying. It added that plans for employees are being worked on.

A spokesperson for FINMA declined to comment when asked by WealthBriefing yesterday. This news service has contacted Falcon Private Bank; the lender hadn’t responded by the time this story went to press.

Falcon was kicked out of Singapore by the local regulator about four years ago after the Monetary Authority of Singapore said it had found significant AML control shortcomings connected to transactions linked to scandal-hit Malaysian fund 1MDB. Another Swiss bank, BSI, also lost its Singaporean licence. 

US, Swiss and Singaporean investors continue to probe financial flows. Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, who has repeatedly denied wrongdoing and is on trial for corruption, lost power in May 2018.

The Reuters report said that Falcon’s Middle Eastern owner has tried find a buyer for the business. 

The Malaysia dirty money scandal has produced some bizarre as well as shocking headlines. In one of the stranger twists, 1MDB-sourced funds were used to help finance the hit Hollywood film, The Wolf of Wall Street - about a fraudster.

Register for WealthBriefing today

Gain access to regular and exclusive research on the global wealth management sector along with the opportunity to attend industry events such as exclusive invites to Breakfast Briefings and Summits in the major wealth management centres and industry leading awards programmes