BSI: The Net Closes on Brunner

BSI Hanspeter Brunner Finma enforcement proceeding

Hanspeter Brunner, former BSI Asia head

After the Singapore regulator, the Swiss financial supervisory authority has opened an investigation into the activities of the former Asia chief of Swiss bank BSI. Finma may be looking to set an example.

In May, Swiss bank regulator Finma said it had opened procedures against two former managers of the Ticino private bank BSI, as part of its severe sanctions against the bank. The names of the two people involved were not released.

In this week’s edition of the Swiss «Handelszeitung(article in German) the newspaper reports that the two former managers in question are Hanspeter Brunner, a member of senior management, who stepped down as Asia chief of BSI in March, and the bank’s former legal counsel Beat Ammann, who departed from senior management at the Ticino bank back in autumn 2015.

Regulatory Breaches?

Brunner’s Swiss lawyer, Benno Hafner, confirmed the existence of the enforcement procedure to the weekly newspaper. According to Hafner, Finma is examining whether his client in his function as CEO of BSI Bank Singapore «could potentially be responsible for breaching regulatory conditions.»

The latest move signals that the net is closing on Brunner. Since May, the Singapore regulator MAS has been investigating whether the former Asia chief of BSI and other managers or employees should face criminal proceedings.

Finma Threat

As also reported by, Brunner recently drew attention to himself by suing BSI over his bonus. Brunner has gone from being feted as a star manager in Asia to fighting legal battles on several fronts.

The Finma procedure could in the worst case lead to a professional ban; the Swiss regulator has shown a tendency in recent months to make an example of individual bankers.


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