DUBAI, March 9 (Reuters) - Falcon Private Bank has not seen an impact on its business following publicity about an investigation into the activities of a Malaysian sovereign wealth fund, the Swiss bank’s chief executive said.
The Wall Street Journal reported last year that investigators had traced nearly $700 million from an account at Falcon Private Bank in Singapore to accounts in Malaysia they believed belonged to Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak.
Falcon, owned by Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund International Petroleum Investment Company, has said it is in contact with Singapore’s central bank and will cooperate with authorities.
The Malaysian fund, 1Malaysia Development Berhad, is being investigated by several authorities, including Malaysia, Switzerland and the United States.
In response to reporters’ questions, Falcon’s Chief Executive Eduardo Leemann said on Wednesday he had seen no impact on the bank’s business from the publicity surrounding the investigation.
“We are in contact with regulators around the world constantly,” Leemann said. “Whenever regulatory issues crop up we are 100 percent cooperative.”
He was speaking at the inauguration of Falcon’s office in Dubai International Financial Centre for its wealth and asset management arm to serve clients in the Middle East, Eastern Europe and elsewhere.
The Middle East accounts for about $2.5 billion of its global $18 billion assets under management.
Falcon’s Dubai office has a licence to offer clients services including discretionary mandates, structured products, lending facilities and other advisory capabilities, Erich Pfister, global head of private banking, said. (Reporting by Tom Arnold. Editing by Jane Merriman)