Swiss bank Falcon Private Bank, has lost its licence to practice in Singapore, following the end of their investigation into 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB). The investigation into misappropriation of funds regarding the state investment fund of Malaysia involved several other banks, after money from the fund ended up in the personal account of Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak. The investigation by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) was done in collaboration with the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA). The bank and its shareholder, Aabar, responded positively to the outcome, saying they welcomed the conclusion and are glad the chapter is closed. The bank said it had been improving its compliance and operational processes to adhere to the highest standards.
In his statement to the press, Falcon’s Chief Executive Officer Walter Berchtold, said, “We have been in close collaboration with the regulators and welcome that the 1MDB case has been closed with the regulators. Falcon Private Bank adheres to all rules and regulations, is well capitalised, enjoys a strong balance sheet and the full support of our shareholder Aabar. The bank will now focus again on growing our businesses in the core locations Switzerland, Middle East and London. We are highly confident of our expertise to create a long-lasting, positive customer experience.” The Chairman of the Board of Directors, Murtadha M. al Hashmi, Chairman of the Board of Directors, echoed the same sentiments, “I am pleased that the 1MDB chapter could be settled and very confident that the bank will develop positively on its way to long term growth. Aabar, as shareholder of the bank, remains fully committed to supporting Falcon Private Bank on this future path.” It is unknown at the moment if the bank would be allowed to resume operations in Singapore in the future. The bank has been rumoured to be an acquisition target recently, though the bank has refuted the reports.