People Moves

Falcon Private's CEO Resigns As Bank Nears End

Tom Burroughes, Group Editor, 2 September 2020

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Falcon Private was embroiled in the Malaysia-linked financial scandal and, along with fellow Swiss bank BSI, lost its Singapore bank licence. The firm has sought to recover in recent years. However, the lender announced it was winding down and will cease operations in 2021.

The chief executive of Falcon Private, Martin Keller, has resigned by mutual consent from the private bank. The embattled firm announced in May this year that it was winding down in Switzerland, and would cease operations in 2021. 

Falcon’s board has named Matteo Maccio, previously its chief financial officer, as the new CEO, taking effect immediately. 

Keller had been in the role since September 2017. 

On 11 May the bank said that it was in talks to move its client portfolio and front-office staff to another private bank. Reports a few days previously said that FINMA, the Swiss regulator, could strip the controversy-hit lender of its bank licence in the Alpine state. (FINMA declined to comment to this publication at the time of that report.) 

The private bank – which is owned by Abu Dhabi state fund Mubadala Investment Company – has struggled to find its feet in Switzerland after it was kicked out of Singapore by the local regulator about four years ago. The Monetary Authority of Singapore said that it had found significant AML control shortcomings connected to transactions linked to the scandal-hit Malaysian fund 1MDB. Another Swiss bank, BSI (now part of EFG International), also lost its Singaporean licence. 

Falcon has pushed into areas such as digital currencies in recent years via Switzerland. With the banking sector already being squeezed by negative official interest rates and rising compliance costs, consolidation pressures are high.

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