Stung by loss of secrecy at home, Swiss banks run into trouble in Asia

martes 24 de mayo de 2016 16:19 GYT

* Erosion of Swiss banking secrecy means loss of business

* BSI and others look to riskier Asia in hunt for wealth to manage

* FINMA has opened enforcement proceedings against six other banks

By Joshua Franklin, Saeed Azhar and Anshuman Daga

ZURICH/SINGAPORE, May 24 (Reuters) - Regulators' closure of the Swiss BSI bank's Asian outpost for failing in its duty to prevent money-laundering has highlighted the risks of hunting wealthy clients farther afield as Swiss banks' traditional line in hiding money from foreign tax men is choked off.

The Swiss banking watchdog FINMA has already opened enforcement proceedings against no fewer than six other unnamed Swiss banks in relation to either the Malaysian fund that tripped up BSI or a separate scandal involving Brazil's state-controlled oil producer, Petrobras.

"We've made clear over recent years and months that we see money-laundering risk as having risen in our country," FINMA Chief Executive Mark Branson told reporters.

"We're concerned that not all organisations have matched their control processes to this increased risk."

The head of Singapore's central bank accused BSI of the "worst case of control lapses and gross misconduct" ever seen in the city-state's financial sector for its dealings with the scandal-hit Malaysian government fund 1 Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).   Continuación...