Falcon Out of Asia Entirely After 1MDB Scandal

1MDB, Falcon Private Bank, Walter Berchtold, SIngapore, exit Asia

Walter Berchtold, CEO Falcon Private Bank

Falcon Private Bank is looking for buyers for its Asian activities, after its license to operate as a bank in Singapore was yanked for its involvement with alleged corruption and money-laundering for Malaysia's 1MDB.

The disappointment was evident in Walter Berchtold's face: «I personally fought for a different outcome,» the newly-installed Chief Executive of Falcon told journalists in Zurich.

The efforts were for naught: Berchtold has to accept that The Monetary Authority of Singapore is shutting Falcon in the city-state, as finews.ch reported earlier on Tuesday.

Unimportant Singapore 

The move won't hamper Falcon's strategic development, according to Berchtold. The former Credit Suisse private bank boss reached the surprising conclusion that Falcon can forgo a presence in the fastest-growing wealth market in the world.

«Singapore wasn't strategically relevant for Falcon in terms of its size,» he emphasized on Tuesday. The bank will concentrate on branches in Switzerland, London and the Middle East, where its owner – Abu Dhabi's sovereign wealth fund IPIC – is from.

Searching for a Buyer

Falcon's roughly 35 employees in Singapore only managed $900 million, Berchtold said, after the bank sold a Hong Kong operation to rival EFG International nearly three years ago. The private bank is looking for a solution for clients who are booked in Singapore, but is open to a blanket solution with interested partners, Berchtold said.

Falcon doesn't want to forgo Asian clients entirely, «but they have to come to us in Switzerland,» he said.


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