Home » Swiss financial watchdog fines Bank Audi for money-laundering violations – SWI swissinfo.ch

Swiss financial watchdog fines Bank Audi for money-laundering violations – SWI swissinfo.ch

Swiss financial watchdog fines Bank Audi for money-laundering violations – SWI swissinfo.ch

FINMA determined that the bank failed to provide information and did not adequately vet high-risk client relationships.


The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) has identified serious violations of money-laundering regulations at the private bank, Bank Audi.

FINMA is fining the institution, which belongs to a Lebanese banking group, and is demanding revisions, for example in its business with politically prominent clients.

Bank Audi has breached its obligations in the prevention of money laundering and seriously violated financial market law, FINMA said in a statement on Monday. This was determined as part of enforcement proceedings launched in 2022.

As a result, FINMA is confiscating unlawfully obtained profits of CHF3.9 million ($4.34 million) and imposing a capital adequacy additional fee of CHF19 million. In addition, revisions in the anti-money-laundering system are required. For two years or until these measures have been fully implemented, the bank may not open any new client relationships with politically prominent individuals.

However, as the individuals suspected of being primarily responsible for the violations of supervisory law have left the bank and the Swiss financial marketplace, FINMA has decided not to initiate proceedings against any individuals.

High-risk client relationships

According to the information provided, FINMA had scrutinised Bank Audi’s client relationships with politically prominent individuals from several countries during an on-site inspection in 2021 and found serious deficiencies in the prevention of money laundering. For example, the bank had failed to comply with its duty to provide information and had not adequately vetted high-risk client relationships.

In the proceedings that have now been concluded, Bank Audi has cooperated and taken measures to restore compliance with the law, the statement continued. Several people in key positions had been replaced and compliance resources had been significantly increased.

Bank Audi has also vetted some customer relationships in greater depth and parted ways with customers, according to the press release. However, it has also decided to maintain certain high-risk client relationships.

Adapted from German by DeepL/dkk/ts

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