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Top Swiss banker Collardi reprimanded by financial watchdog

Boris Collardi accepts the rebuke Keystone / Steffen Schmidt

Former Julius Bär CEO Boris Collardi has had his knuckles rapped by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) following an investigation into money laundering.

This content was published on January 21, 2021 - 11:43
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Collardi, who is now a partner at Geneva-based bank Pictet, says he has accepted the reprimand, which is related to the FINMA investigation into alleged corruption, particularly in connection with the Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA.

In a statementExternal link on Thursday, FINMA said it had launched enforcement proceedings in one case. In a second case, it discontinued proceedings after the person concerned had “credibly agreed not to accept a managerial position at a supervised institution in the future”. Finally, FINMA reprimanded two further people – one of whom was Collardi – in writing.

Collardi said he was satisfied that FINMA had closed the case against him. “I accept the reprimand issued on this basis. This decision – and this is the essential thing – represents a conclusion in this matter for me,” the written statement said.

FINMA said it had lacked the evidence to issue an industry ban. “Although mistakes were made in the case of the two reprimanded managers, there are not sufficient indications of direct, causal responsibility for the serious violation of supervisory law,” it said.

Meanwhile, Bank Pictet “took note” of FINMA’s decision. “Pictet stands behind Boris Collardi. We have full confidence in his work at Pictet,” a spokesman for the bank said.

‘Shortcomings’

In February 2020 FINMA temporarily banned the Zurich-based bank from making big acquisitions for not complying with money-laundering standards in the period 2009-2018. It said the criticisms were connected to the Venezuelan state-owned oil company PDVSA and football’s world governing body FIFA.

Julius Bär said at the time it “acknowledges in principle the conclusions regarding shortcomings in the fight against money laundering in its Latin American business”.

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