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FINMA Concludes Banque Audi (Suisse) SA’s Anti-Money Laundering Breach

Money LaunderingFINMA Concludes Banque Audi (Suisse) SA's Anti-Money Laundering Breach

Banque Audi (Suisse) SA was found by FINMA to have breached anti-money laundering obligations, violating financial market laws. During a 2021 inspection, serious deficiencies in client relationships with politically exposed persons were discovered, leading to enforcement proceedings. The bank failed to disclose crucial internal audit findings initially, showing a disregard for regulatory duties. Furthermore, it inadequately investigated the sources of funds in high-risk client relationships, failing to report suspicious transactions. Despite taking corrective actions, such as personnel changes and increased compliance resources, the bank still maintains certain high-risk client relationships.

As part of the enforcement measures, FINMA has ordered the disgorgement of unlawfully generated profits totaling CHF 3.9 million and imposed a CHF 19 million surcharge on minimum capital due to remaining high-risk client relationships. Additionally, the bank is required to enhance its anti-money laundering defenses and is prohibited from entering new relationships with politically exposed persons or high-risk corporate clients for two years or until the prescribed measures are fully implemented. FINMA will oversee the execution of these measures through an appointed audit mandatary.

Notably, individuals allegedly responsible for the violations have left the bank and the Swiss financial center, preventing FINMA from pursuing individual proceedings that could result in industry bans.

By FCCT Editorial Team

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are independent views solely of the author(s) expressed in their private capacity.

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