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Corporate governance Raiffeisen bank under financial regulator scrutiny

Raiffeisen was classified as a "too big to fail bank" in 2014

(Keystone)

Switzerland’s third-largest bank, Raiffeisen, has been placed under investigation by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) over corporate governance issues linked to some of its recent acquisitions. 

FINMA confirmed on Monday that it had initiated investigations concerning corporate governance within Raiffeisen. The opening of a possible legal process against the bank will depend on the outcome of the investigation. According to the SonntagsZeitung newspaper, the investigation will go as far back as 2010 and will look into corporate governance issues surrounding acquisitions and investments like Switzerland’s oldest private bank, Wegelin, in 2012 and fintech firm Leonteq in 2016.

For its part, Raiffeisen told the SonntagsZeitung it had decided to review its governance processes internally and externally to ensure they were up-to-date and met FINMA requirements. 

In 2014, the Swiss National Bank had deemed Raiffeisen to be a “too big to fail” financial institution. This meant the bank is subject to stricter regulatory requirements, such as setting aside a more substantial cushion as a buffer against any potential market upsets. 

Raiffeisen has around 3.7 million clients and 955 branches in Switzerland. At the end of 2016, it had CHF203 billion ($203.5 billion) in assets under management. 

swissinfo.ch and agencies/ac

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