Swiss financial watchdog Finma has reprimanded Bank SYZ for flouting anti-money laundering (AML) rules while having business dealings with a politically connected client from Angola.
Without disclosing the client’s name, the regulator alleged that the bank failed to make adequate efforts to monitor the considerable growth in the client’s assets.
Finma further said that the bank was unable to properly meet its obligations of clarifying the client’s high-risk transactions, some of them worth tens of millions.
“The bank did not adequately resolve issues that should have raised suspicions, even though the client was identified as having links with politically exposed persons (PEP) and the relationship was classified in this category,” the regulator stated.
The regulator launched enforcement proceedings against Bank SYZ in February this year.
However, Finma added that the bank has adhered to its statutory reporting obligation, allowing authorities to probe the matter.
The regulator also acknowledged the bank’s adoption of various measures in the matter to restore compliance.
The watchdog will appoint an independent auditor to review these measures.
In response, the bank said: “The bank attaches the utmost importance to compliance with its anti-money laundering obligations.
“Unfortunately, for a specific business relationship, the procedures put in place proved to be inadequate.”
Earlier this month, Finma launched enforcement proceedings against Credit Suisse over a spying scandal.
Bank SYZ moves
This July, Banque SYZ named Adrien Pichoud as its chief economist.
This year, the Swiss private bank also received a licence from Turkish regulators to launch its representative office in Istanbul.
The office is said to serve as a key bridge between East and West and help the bank gain more insights into the country’s investment opportunities.