Current BSI board not linked to 1MDB case: Chief exec

The logo for Swiss bank BSI outside a subsidiary in Geneva.
The logo for Swiss bank BSI outside a subsidiary in Geneva. PHOTO: AFP

GENEVA • The new chief executive of Swiss bank BSI, which has been ordered to shut down over its alleged role in a massive Malaysian money-laundering scandal, has insisted that the current management was not implicated in the case.

Board member Roberto Isolani, who took over as chief executive officer following the resignation of Mr Stefano Coduri last Tuesday, said the accusations levelled at the bank dated back "three to four years" and belonged to the past.

"There is no proof that current members of the board of directors or management are involved in the case," he said.

Swiss financial regulators on Tuesday approved the dissolution of BSI, citing serious breaches of money-laundering regulations in its dealings with the Malaysian state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

Singapore's central bank has also ordered the closure of BSI's local operations.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, who founded 1MDB in 2009, has battled allegations that billions were looted from the investment vehicle in a vast campaign of fraud and embezzlement stretching from the Middle East to the Caymans.

Swiss supervisor Finma said it was approving the takeover of BSI by Zurich-based private banking group EFG International on the condition that BSI was integrated "and thereafter dissolved" within 12 months.

It ordered the seizure of 95 million Swiss francs (S$132 million) of BSI's "illegally generated" profits, and said it was investigating two former top managers.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 28, 2016, with the headline 'Current BSI board not linked to 1MDB case: Chief exec'. Print Edition | Subscribe