1MDB Scandal: Falcon CEO Eduardo Leemann Denies Wrongdoing

Eduardo Leemann, CEO Falcon Private Bank

Eduardo Leemann, CEO Falcon Private Bank

Falcon, the private bank in the middle of the allegations about embezzled money from Malaysia, maintains that the transactions using its accounts were clean.

The scandal involving the state fund of Malaysia and the country's president, Najib Razak, has shaken the Asian country and smeared the reputation of a number of Swiss banks. Most of all the name of Falcon Private Bank.

Some $4 billion are said to have been moved to accounts of officials in Malaysia and the Emirates, after first having been washed using Swiss bank accounts. The federal attorney of Switzerland is investigating the case, but Falcon so far hasn't been accused of any wrongdoing.

Money Transfers Involving Falcon Owner IPIC

Still, the bank is said to have been used to wash $681 million, money that was sent from a member of the Saudi royal family to Najib as a gift, according to information provided by the Malaysian attorney.

Falcon also was used as a means to move money between 1MDB state fund and the International Petroleum Investment Co. (IPIC). IPIC owns a majority stake in Falcon.

Procedures Approved by Regulators

Falcon CEO Eduardo Leemann at the opening of the bank's new offices in Dubai took the opportunity to refute allegations about wrongdoings by the bank. He said that the owners of the bank had never gotten involved in operative matters of the bank and would never do so, the «Wall Street Journal» reported. For sure, they had opened doors for the bank, but nothing more.

With the huge amounts of money involved, it is pretty obvious, why the suspicion arose that the owner of the bank had abused it for transactions supposedly improper.

The business was interesting for the bank and underwent the internal controls, Leemann said, no matter whether a government or high-net-worth client was involved. The controls applied to any transaction and had been looked at by the regulators, the CEO also said, adding that the scandal so far had had no negative impact on Falcon.

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