BSI Bank’s former Singapore chief executive sues over bonus

Added 13th July 2016

The former chief executive of BSI Bank in Singapore, Hans-Peter Brunner, is suing the Swiss bank for freezing his bonus two months after the Singapore regulator ordered that the bank be shut down.

BSI Bank’s former Singapore chief executive sues over bonus

Citing legal documents filed with the Singapore High Court earlier this month, Bloomberg reports that Brunner has accused BSI of breaching its bonus agreement and separation pact with him.

Bunner and BSI “mutually agreed” in September 2015 that he would retire, according to court papers. A separation agreement was reached in March, which included deferred bonuses for 2012 to 2014, at which point his resignation was announced.

On 24 June, BSI reportedly wrote to Brunner saying it would freeze a payment of S$722,800 (£408,115, $535,868, €483,605).

Brunner added that the bank intended to “renege on all of its other payment obligations” totalling $1m, scheduled to be paid through June 2018.   

In his complaint, Brunner said that there is no legal basis for BSI to suspend the payment for deferred bonuses that was due to be paid last month.

Ordered shut down

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (Mas) ordered that the bank be shut down in May and fined it S$13.3m (£7.5m) for 41 breaches of Mas’s regulations on the prevention of money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism.  

The regulator referred six former and current members of staff to the public prosecutor: including Brunner, who has not been formally charged.

Mas described it as “the worst case of control lapses and gross misconduct” in the country’s financial sector.

It was the first such move by the regulator since 1984 and followed accusations of serious breaches of anti-money laundering requirements, poor management oversight of the bank’s operations, and gross misconduct.

Founded in Switzerland in 1873, BSI is a private bank that offers services to high net worth individuals. It was previously owned by Italian insurer Generali Group and sold to Brazil’s BTG Pactual Group in July 2014. 

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About Author

Kirsten Hastings

Senior Reporter

Kirsten is a senior reporter for International Adviser, covering global news stories about the financial services industry. She joined Last Word Media in October 2015 after two years working as a reporter covering the staffing and recruitment industry. Kirsten has a Masters in Financial Journalism from the University of Stirling. 

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