Swiss AG opens criminal proceedings against BSI SA bank 'in relation to 1MDB probe'

The logo of Swiss private bank BSI seen at a branch office in Zurich on March 31, 2015.
The logo of Swiss private bank BSI seen at a branch office in Zurich on March 31, 2015. PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - The Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland (OAG) has opened criminal proceedings against the BSI SA bank.

The decision to open proceedings against the Swiss parent of BSI Bank in Singapore is based on information revealed by the criminal proceedings in the 1MDB case and on issues raised in the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) decision of May 23, 2016.

The OAG suspects deficiencies in the internal organisation of the BSI SA bank. It is believed that due to these deficiencies, the bank was unable to prevent the commission of offences currently under investigation in the criminal proceedings relating to Malaysian state fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

 
 

The criminal proceedings opened on Monday against BSI SA are based on information revealed by the criminal proceedings related to IMDB and on issues raised in the FINMA decision of May 23, 2016.

The information suggests that the offences of money laundering and bribery of foreign public officials currently under investigation in the context of the 1MDB case could have been prevented had BSI SA been adequately organised.

Swiss law (Art. 102 para. 2 of the Swiss Criminal Code, SCC) allows the prosecution of a company that is suspected of not taking all the reasonable organisational measures that are required to prevent third parties from committing offences, and in particular money laundering or corruption offences.