Royal Bank of Scotland sucked into 1MDB probe

Royal Bank of Scotland sucked into 1MDB probe

Swiss authorities are probing accounts held with Coutts International, the former Swiss-based arm of RBS’s private bank

Royal Bank of Scotland has become embroiled in the global investigation into alleged corruption relating to Malaysia’s state investment fund, 1MDB, with the Swiss financial watchdog opening a probe into the lender, according to two people familiar with the matter.

The Swiss authorities have launched an inquiry in relation to “certain client accounts held with Coutts,” the former Swiss-based arm of RBS’s private bank, the bank disclosed on Friday, adding that it is also co-operating with regulators in other countries in relation to the same accounts.

The people said both statements referred to accounts connected to alleged wrongdoing in Malaysia. RBS sold Coutts International to Union Bancaire Privée last year but the bank said on Friday that Finma’s enforcement proceedings were focused on the period when it still owned the Swiss private bank.

Switzerland’s attorney-general said in January he had found “serious indications” that at least $4bn had been misappropriated from Malaysian state companies, following a criminal investigation related to 1MDB. The affair has rocked Malaysia’s ruling elite, and embroiled the prime minister Najib Razak, who chairs 1MDB’s advisory board.

Swiss authorities say a small portion of the $4bn was transferred to accounts held in Switzerland by former Malaysian public officials, and former and current officials from the United Arab Emirates.

April 29, 2016 – Financial Times
Royal Bank of Scotland sucked into 1MDB probe


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