PostFinance fined for money laundering scam

PostFinance, the financial services arm of Swiss Post, has been fined SFr250,000 ($283,000) for failing to detect a money laundering scam.

This content was published on April 21, 2011 - 10:24 and agencies

It is the first time a Swiss financial institution has been sanctioned under money laundering laws which require financial services to investigate the origins of suspicious money transfers.

The case dates back to February 2005 and a cash transfer of SFr4.6 million made to a PostFinance account held in the name of a director of a Dutch investment company.

Although PostFinance had verified that the account was not blocked, it did not conduct sufficient checks on the origins of the money, the Administrative Court of canton Solothurn ruled.

In fact, the money belonged to two clients who had deposited SFr5 million with the Dutch investment company the previous day. The money has never been recovered.

PostFinance announced it would appeal the decision.

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