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EU/Europe, Financial Services, Regulatory

Swiss private bank ‘seriously violated’ AML regulations; FINMA

By Dan Byrne for AMLi

A Swiss bank has been ordered by the national financial watchdog to monitor all private banking transactions amid allegations of breaching AML law.

Banca Credinvest “seriously violated money-laundering regulations,” in providing services to a client company, the Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) said in a statement yesterday.

FINMA opened enforcement proceedings against the Bank in November 2018 after receiving reports of foul play regarding the nature of their relationship with Venezuelan Oil giant PDVSA.

FINMA found that the bank fell short in due diligence on AML regulations over a 4-year period, failed to adequately identify their client or beneficial owners involved, failed to monitor transactions, and were incomplete in documenting and reporting suspicious activity to authorities.

In response, FINMA has ordered the bank to screen all private transactions for a money laundering risk, withdraw from all relationships with clients based in Venezuela, and refrain from taking on new high-risk clients for a period of three years.

Banca Credinvest is active in Switzerland only, with offices in Lugano and Zurich. It offers financial planning solutions and asset management in addition to normal private banking services.

The bank has not issued a comment on FINMA’s assessment, but FINMA noted that the order to halt all new relationships with high-risk clients was “as decided by the bank itself.”

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