Swiss Attorney General's office launches criminal proceedings against Falcon bank

The logo of Swiss Falcon Private Bank is seen at its headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland. PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - The Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland (OAG) has opened criminal proceedings against the Falcon Private Bank - one day after it was sanctioned by Swiss financial regulator for serious breaches of money laundering regulations in relation to Malaysia's scandal-hit 1MDB fund.

The decision to open proceedings is based on information revealed by the investigations in the 1MDB case and on issues raised in the decision of the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (Finma), the OAG said.

It said it suspects deficiencies in Falcon's internal organisation will not prevent the bank from committing offences currently under investigation in 1MDB.

The information suggests that the offences of money laundering currently under investigation in 1MDB case could have been prevented had the Falcon been adequately organised, OAG said.

Finma on Wednesday ordered Falcon to turn over illegal profits amounting to 2.5 million Swiss francs (S$3.49 million) and banned the bank from entering into business relationships with foreign politically exposed persons for three years.

Finma also launched enforcement proceedings against two of the bank's former executives.

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