Europe

Swiss watchdog: Probes of money laundering jump in 2016

  • Dr. Thomas Bauer, president of the board of directors FINMA, Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority, speaks to the Media in Bern Switzerland on Tuesday April 4 2017.  (Anthony Anex/Keystone via AP)

    Dr. Thomas Bauer, president of the board of directors FINMA, Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority, speaks to the Media in Bern Switzerland on Tuesday April 4 2017. (Anthony Anex/Keystone via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Mark Branson,, left,  CEO  of FINMA, Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority, and Dr. Thomas Bauer, president of the board of directors  of FINMA, speak to the Media in Bern Switzerland on Tuesday April 4 2017.  (Anthony Anex/Keystone via AP)

    Mark Branson,, left, CEO of FINMA, Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority, and Dr. Thomas Bauer, president of the board of directors of FINMA, speak to the Media in Bern Switzerland on Tuesday April 4 2017. (Anthony Anex/Keystone via AP)  (The Associated Press)

Switzerland's financial markets watchdog says it investigated 22 breaches of money laundering requirements last year, from nine in 2015, particularly linked to international corruption.

The authority, FINMA, said Tuesday that "serious shortcomings" came to light in 2016, including major cases involving the Malaysian sovereign wealth fund, 1MDB, and Brazilian oil company Petrobras.

At the end of 2016, FINMA had classified 21 unspecified banks as "high risk," meaning their activities are under enhanced surveillance. The authority has closed three cases of seven linked to 1MDB, involving Coutts & Co, BSI and Falcon Private bank.

FINMA Chairman Thomas Bauer said it was not contacted by investigators behind a Dutch-led probe of suspected money laundering and tax evasion announced last week. He said judicial and tax authorities, not financial authorities, were in charge.