ZURICH: The first priority of Walter Berchtold, the new chief executive officer of Falcon Private Bank, is to resolve issues faced by its Singapore unit in connection with the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal.
Berchtold, who officially takes office as CEO next month, plans to travel to Singapore upon assuming office, Swiss business paper Handelszeitung reported.
Berchtold, 54, has been a member of Falcon’s board since March 2015. He was previously CEO of private banking at Credit Suisse.
Finews.com, quoting the Handelszeitung report, said the trip was designed to help him get a clearer picture of the local branch of the Swiss private bank which belongs to Abu Dhabi’s International Petroleum Investment Co (IPIC).
Earlier reports said Falcon had been blocked from taking on new business in Singapore by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).
Falcon and several other banks had been under investigation by MAS for a possible breach of anti-money laundering rules in handling transactions linked to scandal-hit 1MDB.
Falcon has neither confirmed nor denied the rumour and MAS said as a matter of policy it “does not comment on its supervisory dealings with specific financial institutions.”
Berchtold cryptically told Finews.com upon his appointment as CEO: “We know more about this than you.”
The former chairman of Falcon, Khadem Al Qubaisi, was recently arrested in Abu Dhabi as part of the graft investigation into 1MDB by the Abu Dhabi authorities.
Qubaisi is seen as a key figure in the global investigation into alleged fraud at 1MDB.