The Securities and Exchange Commission
(SEC), the US financial regulator, has probed a company named
International Banking Group which is claiming fake Private Banker
International awards on its website.

In an email sent to PBI, Morgan B Ward Doran, an attorney in the
SEC’s enforcement department, said International Banking Group
(IBG), headquartered in Los Angeles, was claiming awards it had not

On its website, the bank states it received a 2008 award for
Innovation in Products and Services; 2007 and 2005 awards for
Outstanding Private Bank for Alternative Investments; and a 2006
award for Outstanding Regional Private Bank – Europe and
Outstanding Asia-Pacific Private Banker.

All of the awards IBG was claiming were awarded to SG Private
Banking or its employees. An SG spokesman said there was no
connection with IBG and that “they were concerned at this

Doran confirmed IBG was “one company that has claimed to receive
awards from PBI”. He said he “could not confirm the existence or
non-existence of an investigation”. 

Doran asked PBI for details of awards winners over the last five
years as the SEC was “trying to confirm whether a bank that
reported winning certain awards from PBI during these years
actually did”. PBI has complied with the request.

IBG’s website claims the business has around $3.36 billion in
assets under management and $2.56 billion under custody, with 2,300
employees and offices in seven countries “with a strong presence in
the US, Europe and Asia”.

The website says IBG ranks “among the market leaders in Hong Kong,
as well as enjoy [sic] a dominant presence in the UK, Ireland,
Switzerland, Canada and India”. The bank was set up in 1979.

IBG failed to return a telephone call and did not respond to
emailed questions to reply to the claims.

The news comes weeks after PBI’s 19th annual awards, held in
Singapore. HSBC Private Bank claimed the top award – Outstanding
Global Private Bank. SG Private Banking’s Daniel Truchi was named
Outstanding Global Private Banker.