Clients Pull Money From BSI in Wake of 1MDB

BSI, net outflows, 1MDB, BTG Pactual

BSI offices in Singapore

Clients pulled billions from Banca della Svizzera Italiana, or BSI, in the second quarter after the Ticino-based private bank was sanctioned by regulators for its dealings with scandal-engulfed 1MDB.

BSI's private banking arm suffered 6.3 billion Swiss francs in outflows in the last three months, the bank's current owner BTG Pactual said overnight. The result was also marred by the the strong Swiss franc versus the Brazilian real. 

BSI is in the process of being acquired by Zurich-based private bank EFG International, a deal which will make the combined bank Switzerland's fifth-largest by assets. The purchase is expected to close in the fourth quarter.

Integration Within the Year

The remaining integration of BSI into EFG is planned for after the deal's closing, and is to be concluded by mid-2017.

BSI lost its license to operate in Singapore due to its involvement in the scandal surrounding Malaysian sovereign wealth fund 1MDB, which has roiled banks in Singapore and Switzerland.

The bank is fighting measures from Swiss financial regulator Finma, which ruled that BSI had committed serious breaches of money laundering regulations and «fit and proper» banking requirements.

Money-Laundering Probe

BSI in Singapore acted as a «pass-through» for 1MDB and people associated with the fund to launder funds elsewhere. 

The fund is accused of siphoning off billions in state money for private use. 1MDB is the subject of money-laundering investigation in at least six countries.


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