Malaysia 1MDB scandal: Swiss regulator approves BSI takeover by EFG but imposes conditions
25 May 2016

Private Swiss bank BSI, which has been ordered to close its operations in Singapore, has been slammed by its own regulator for failing to adequately monitor its relationship with Malaysian sovereign fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad. Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority, FINMA, accused the bank of committing “serious breaches of money laundering regulations” and “fit and proper” requirements.

In a statement dated 24 May, FINMA said the bank “executed numerous large transactions with unclear purpose over a period of several years and, despite clearly suspicious indications, did not clarify the background to these transactions.”

Following its investigations, FINMA has now approved the takeover of BSI by EFG International with the condition that BSI will be “integrated and thereafter dissolved with 12 months”. As part of its conditions, none of the BSI top management “responsible for the misconduct” will be allowed to take up leadership positions at EFG, the statement said.

The regulator added: “This takeover is a positive development providing clients and employees with a perspective for the future.” The takeover will push the merged EFG entity into the top five Swiss wealth management companies.

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