You are here: Home » International » News » Others
Business Standard

Swiss banks faulted over violating money laundering with Venezuela clients

Switzerland's financial markets watchdog said it has reprimanded and set restrictions on 2 Swiss banks for violating their obligation to fight money laundering in connection with clients in Venezuela

Swiss banks | Venezuela | Switzerland

AP  |  Geneva 

Representative Image

Switzerland's financial markets watchdog on Thursday said it has reprimanded and set restrictions on two for violating their obligation to fight money laundering in connection with clients in Venezuela, notably with links to state-run oil giant PDVSA.

Banca Zarattini & Co. SA and CBH Compagnie Bancaire Helvetique SA were found to have breached their duties to put in place adequate risk-management policy, which represented a serious infringement of supervisory law, the Swiss Financial Markets Supervisory Agency, FINMA, said in a statement.

FINMA said it was in contact with more than 30 over alleged cases of corruption with regard to Venezuela, and in particular PDVSA. It ultimately opened enforcement proceedings the highest level of scrutiny possible at the authority and wrongdoing was found at five banks including Julius Baer and Credit Suisse.

The authority said the announcement Thursday ends all enforcement proceedings against banks with regard to and PDVSA.

It said CBH and Zarattini cooperated well during the proceedings and had taken steps to remove the deficiencies in their organization in combating money laundering.

The misconduct at Banca Zarattini took place from 2014 to 2018. FINMA said it has imposed a temporary ban on the Lugano-based bank accepting new Venezuelan clients.

Geneva-based CBH, which was found to have breached its obligations to fight money laundering between 2012 and 2020 in the case, was ordered to end all its remaining business relationships with Venezuelan clients and to review other especially risky client relationships and terminate these if necessary, the authority said.

Both banks failed to carry out sufficient economic background clarifications into business relationships and transactions with increased money-laundering risks, FINMA said. Adequate documentation was also lacking in these areas.

CBH said the statement from the authority confirmed that it had already taken measures to reinforce its due diligence and control procedures, and said in a statement that the restrictions imposed by FINMA corresponded to decisions the bank had already taken.

Much information about our bank in relation to Venezuelan clients was disseminated in the media in recent years, CBH said. The result mentioned above puts an end to all speculations.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Fri, November 19 2021. 06:56 IST