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Financial watchdog accuses Raiffeisen of major governance failings

Financial watchdog accuses Raiffeisen of major governance failings

The former chief executive of Raiffeisen bank in Switzerland, Pierin Vincenz, spent 15 weeks behind bars. Vincenz was released on Wednesday (Keystone)

The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) has concluded its investigation into Swiss bank Raiffeisen, saying it identified “serious shortcomings” in governance.

“FINMA has found that the bank’s handling of conflicts of interest was inadequate,” the regulatory body said in a statementexternal link on Thursday.

FINMA, which launched its investigation in October, concluded that Raiffeisen’s board of directors failed to adequately supervise its former CEO, Pierin Vincenz. This failure enabled him, at least potentially, to generate personal financial gain at the bank’s expense, FINMA said.

Vincenz, who is suspected of unfair management when he chaired the credit card company Aduno, was released from pre-trial detention on Wednesday.

Raiffeisen, for its part, has taken a series of measures in the past two years in a bid to resolve the situation.

FINMA found the measures taken “appropriate”, provided that they are “rigorously” implemented. It will appoint an independent auditor to monitor implementation.

The financial authority ordered further action, calling for the renewal of the board of directors of Raiffeisen Switzerland with an eye to strengthening its expertise.

swissinfo.ch/ds

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