An audit of Hyposwiss Private Bank AG found no evidence of money laundering, following allegations by Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska against a former member of the Zurich-based bank’s board.
Hyposwiss asked PricewaterhouseCoopers to examine its books after Deripaska filed a legal complaint in Switzerland saying that Hans Bodmer, a Swiss lawyer who resigned from the bank’s board last month, helped loot MMC Norilsk Nickel OJSC. According to the complaint, Bodmer did work in 2010 for billionaire Vladimir Potanin and his Interros Holding Co., which holds about 30 percent of Norilsk. Deripaska’s United Co. Rusal, the world’s largest aluminum producer, owns 25 percent of Norilsk. The two are fighting over control.
“PwC examined the bank’s compliance with criminal law standards concerning money laundering for the period from 1 July 2010 to 31 October 2011,” St. Galler Kantonal Bank AG, which owns Hyposwiss, said today in a statement. “They confirmed that the bank had not violated criminal money laundering provisions.”
Swiss prosecutors have rejected Deripaska’s complaint that Potanin and Bodmer stole $1 billion from Norilsk. Deripaska subsequently brought the complaint to the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority.