Banque Audi (Suisse) has failed to comply with its anti-money laundering duties, put in place by FINMA, resulting in a major violation of financial market law.

This was put in place by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) during enforcement procedures.

Banque Audi (Suisse) is part of a significant Lebanese banking company.

During an on-site examination in 2021, FINMA examined client ties with politically exposed individuals from multiple countries.

It identified severe flaws in ways to avoid money laundering. This prompted FINMA to initiate enforcement actions in 2022, which have already finished.

The bank did not carry out its duty to give accurate information

FINMA got all internal audit reports, including one that highlighted flaws in money laundering prevention, but it was not previously acknowledged or submitted.

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Serious infringement of supervisory laws

FINMA determined that the bank failed to fulfil its duty to give information and failed to clarify asset sources in high-risk relationships with clients.

The bank neglected to notify transactions to the Money Laundering Reporting Office and failed to examine allegations of illegally acquired assets in customer interactions with politically exposed individuals.

Bank takes independent action

In addition to working with FINMA, Banque Audi (Suisse) has expanded resources for compliance, examined client relationships, and ended relationships with some clients while keeping high-risk ones.

FINMA has mandated the disgorgement of gains and the surcharge for Pillar 2

FINMA has mandated the forced disgorgement of CHF3.9m ($4.3m) in illicit earnings, a CHF19m ($21m) risk surcharge on minimum capital, further adjustments to anti-money laundering defence systems, and an audit to oversee the execution of these measures.

Individuals who were suspected of breaking supervisory laws have departed the Swiss financial hub, and FINMA has decided not to press charges against them, which might result in a ban from the industry.