Swiss watchdog raps Credit Suisse for anti-corruption lapses

Instead of disciplining a successful relationship manager who repeatedly breached the bank's compliance regulations for years, Finma said Credit Suisse rewarded him with high payments and positive reviews.
Instead of disciplining a successful relationship manager who repeatedly breached the bank's compliance regulations for years, Finma said Credit Suisse rewarded him with high payments and positive reviews. PHOTO: REUTERS

ZURICH • Credit Suisse will be overseen by an independent monitor after failing in its duty to combat corruption in cases linked to soccer body Fifa and Venezuelan and Brazilian state oil companies, Swiss finance industry watchdog Finma said yesterday.

Separately, the Swiss authority determined that Credit Suisse also fell short of its obligation to fight money laundering while managing "a significant business relationship for the bank with a politically exposed person", Finma said in a statement.

Instead of disciplining a successful relationship manager who repeatedly breached the bank's compliance regulations for years, Finma said Credit Suisse rewarded him with high payments and positive reviews.

Finma ordered measures to improve the bank's anti-money laundering process. It also said it was installing an independent monitor to make sure Credit Suisse followed through and to prevent a repetition of incidents such as the ones it investigated, which involve Fifa, Brazilian oil corporation Petrobras and Venezuelan oil corporation Petroleos de Venezuela.

"The identified shortcomings occurred repeatedly over a number of years, mainly before 2014," Finma said. "An above-average number of faults were discovered in business relationships opened by the former (Credit Suisse) Group subsidiary Clariden Leu AG."

In response, the Zurich-based bank said Finma's probes had discovered "legacy weaknesses", adding it had already acted to improve compliance. Credit Suisse also said it has not been fined or ordered to disgorge profits.

"Implementing a culture of compliant growth at Credit Suisse is our highest priority and it is an individual and collective responsibility that we take extremely seriously," the bank said.

 

"We will continue to work closely with Finma to complete the changes that are under way and implement additional measures," it added.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 18, 2018, with the headline 'Swiss watchdog raps Credit Suisse for anti-corruption lapses'. Print Edition | Subscribe