Swiss financial regulator Finma has directed Banca Credinvest to strengthen its risk management controls after finding that the bank seriously violated anti-money laundering (AML) rules over dealings with Venezuelan state-owned oil firm PDVSA.
With these findings, the regulator has completed its enforcement proceedings against the bank, which was launched in November 2018.
In its findings, Finma found that Credinvest’s money-laundering and risk management processes were inadequate.
From 2013 to 2017, the bank was said to flout duty of due diligence associated with AML rules and was unable to effectively identify its clients or beneficial owners, screen the transactions of these customers, and document the processes completely.
Besides, the bank reported suspicious activity to MROS too late, noted Finma.
The regulator has now ordered Credinvest to withdraw from client relationships having a Venezuelan connection and barred it from accepting new high-risk clients for three years.
The regulator has also ordered the bank to have a check on its private banking clients to detect money-laundering risks.
Finma has rebuked several Swiss banks for rule breaches recently.
Julius Baer also came under the scanner for serious failings in its AML controls over corruption linked to PDVSA.
As a result, Finma admonished the bank this February and restricted it from making any major acquisition until it implements remedial measures.
Meanwhile, last month, the watchdog reprimanded Bank SYZ for breaching AML rules while having business dealings with a politically exposed client from Angola.
The regulator recently also launched enforcement proceedings against Credit Suisse over a spying scandal that erupted last year.