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Leonteq Says It’s Not Aware of French Regulators Reporting Irregularities

Leonteq

Swiss-listed investment services company Leonteq said Wednesday (March 6) it was unaware that French regulators told prosecutors of possible irregularities at the firm. 

The firm told Reuters this after being asked about a Wednesday report by French newspaper Les Echos that the French banking regulator ACPR had found possible money laundering and financial fraud linked to Leonteq and passed this information along to Paris prosecutors, Reuters reported Wednesday. 

The article in Les Echos said ACPR told prosecutors of shortcomings in Leonteq’s disclosure of suspicious transactions, and insufficient checks of accounts and transactions linked to clients in high-risk countries, according to the Reuters report. The Les Echos article attributed the information to unnamed sources.

Responding to Reuters, Leonteq said it was not aware of the regulators’ reported actions. The company added that it faced allegations in 2022 and 2023 around products distributed by third parties but that it commissioned investigations and found no evidence of intentional wrongdoing by its employees, per the report. 

Leonteq said told the media outlet that it took any “potential finding by supervisory authorities very seriously.”

It was reported in December 2022 that a string of fines imposed by European regulators, including one by ACPR, spotlighted anti-money laundering failures at European banks.

In another recent development in this space, it was reported in February that Transactive Systems, an electronic-money company in the United Kingdom, was ceasing operations following the revocation of one of its licenses due to concerns about money laundering.

Also in February, Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI) disclosed that it is being investigated by Austria’s financial regulator, FMA, over alleged anti-money laundering failures. The bank said in its annual report that the probe is specifically focused on the bank’s adherence to know-your-customer (KYC) rules and involves three customers of its correspondent banking business.

In another recent move, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) said Feb. 23 that it updated its list of nations needing “increased monitoring.” The FATF, which sets global standards for anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism, added the nations of Kenya and Namibia to that list while removing Barbados, Gibraltar, Uganda and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).