But Falcon Private Bank welcomes end of 1MDB investigation that caused a political scandal in Malaysia
October 11, 2016: Falcon Private Bank, a Swiss private banking boutique with 50 years of expertise in wealth management, has lost its banking licence in Singapore as a fall-out of the 1MDB case.
The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) have completed their investigation around Falcon Private Bank’s involvement in the 1MDB case and have notified the bank about their decisions. The investigation was into allegations of misappropriation from Malaysia’s state investment fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) and that the money made its way into Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak’s personal bank accounts. Prime Minister Najib Razak and the 1MDB have denied any wrong-doing.
Falcon Private Bank was among those embroiled in the scandal along with several other institutions and individuals. Falcon Private Bank and its shareholder Aabar have welcomed completion of the investigation. Since 2013, the bank has further enhanced its compliance, invested in additional resources as well as reviewed the organisational setup and relevant processes. Furthermore, based on the findings of the regulators, Falcon Private Bank has initiated additional measures to prevent future issues.
With its committed staff, strong capital base and high liquidity ratio, Falcon Private Bank will now concentrate on further growing its franchise. The bank provides financial services to private clients and wealthy families from its headquarters in Zurich and locations in London, Singapore, Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
But now, its Singapore banking licence has been withdrawn. The bank is currently in contact with employees, clients and partners and is committed to finding optimal solutions for all parties involved and guaranteeing an orderly winding down of the Singapore operation.
Walter Berchtold, Chief Executive Officer of Falcon Private Bank, said, “We have been in close collaboration with the regulators and welcome that the 1MDB case has been closed with the regulators. Falcon Private Bank adheres to all rules and regulations, is well capitalised, enjoys a strong balance sheet and the full support of our shareholder Aabar. The bank will now focus again on growing our businesses in the core locations Switzerland, Middle East and London. We are highly confident of our expertise to create a long-lasting, positive customer experience.”
Murtadha M. al Hashmi, Chairman of the Board of Directors, added, “I am pleased that the 1MDB chapter could be settled and very confident that the bank will develop positively on its way to long term growth. Aabar, as shareholder of the bank, remains fully committed to supporting Falcon Private Bank on this future path.”