Switzerland’s Falcon Private Bank has confirmed that it will pull the plug on its private banking business in 2021 and also said that it is in advanced talks on client relationship transfer.
The bank said that it is in advanced talks with another Swiss private bank to divest and transfer its client portfolio, subsidiaries as well as front-office employees.
The name of the potential buyer was not disclosed.
However, the bank assured that the withdrawal from private banking will be a “controlled and orderly process”.
Falcon chairman of the board of directors Roberto Grassi said: “Three years ago, we gave Falcon Private Bank a new profile through innovative ideas and unconventional solutions.
“However, after a strategic review and evaluating various options, we have concluded that, especially in the current environment, the controlled cessation of Falcon’s banking activities is the best way to protect the interests of our stakeholders.”
The bank, which confirmed last month that it is weighing various options including an exit from private banking, has been embroiled in Malaysia’s 1MDB state fund scandal in recent times.
The scandal involved the misappropriation of over $4.5bn from 2009 to 2014.
Falcon was stripped of its licence in Singapore in connection with the scandal.
Swiss financial regulator FINMA also accused Falcon of serious anti-money laundering failings, highlighting the bank’s inability to conduct sufficient background checks into transactions and business relationships related to 1MDB.