December 3, 2019 / 8:01 PM / 8 days ago

Swiss court rebuffs FINMA's seizure of bank BSI money in 1MDB case

ZURICH, Dec 3 (Reuters) - Swiss financial markets supervisor FINMA must reconsider its confiscation of 95 million Swiss francs ($95.27 million) from Banca della Svizzera Italiana (BSI), after a court called its calculation of the amount seized “incomprehensible”.

BSI was bought by EFG International in 2016 from Brazil’s BTG Pactual after becoming tangled in legal problems related to the scandal-hit Malaysian sovereign fund 1MDB, which resulted in the closure of BSI’s Singapore branch in 2016.

In the case, FINMA found BSI breached money laundering rules and ordered it to hand over profits amounting to 95 million francs.

But BSI appealed, arguing the FINMA procedure was “flawed in many respects and FINMA’s decision as such is disproportionate and incorrect”.

In its decision published on Tuesday, the Swiss Federal Administrative Court concluded that FINMA must take up the matter again.

“Although acknowledging the occurrence of severe violations of supervisory provisions the Swiss Federal Administrative Court (FAC) considers the estimate of 95 million francs to be incomprehensible,” the court wrote in a statement.

“The confiscation has to correspond to the actual profit generated by the infringement.”

FINMA can appeal the decision to the Swiss Federal Supreme Court. The watchdog could not immediately be reached for comment late on Tuesday. ($1 = 0.9972 Swiss francs) (Reporting by John Miller; Editing by Jan Harvey)

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