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CBH Compagnie Bancaire Helvetique SA: A Scam? (2024)

scam

CBH Bank was created in 1975 as a stock and commodities brokerage. Switzerland granted it a full banking license in 1991. About 260 people work for the organization. Currently, Philippe Cordonier is the general manager. Private banking and asset management are the bank’s specialties in Geneva, Switzerland.

The Benhamou family owns the bank and prioritizes cultivating relationships with UHNW clients in LATAM, Israel, Asia, Russia, and Venezuela.

Since 2009, the assets under the administration of CBH Compagnie Bancaire Helvetique SA, a tiny family-owned bank in Switzerland, have more than tripled, from $2 billion to $11.4 billion. The bank’s financial filings indicate that 19% of its business last year came from assets owned by clients in Latin America and the Caribbean. – WSJ

Corporate name, legal form, and head office

CBH Compagnie Bancaire Helvetique SA owns the Group. The Bank performs all asset management and securities trading activities. Besides its Zurich branch and affiliates in St. Moritz and Israel, the bank has firms in the Bahamas, England, Hong Kong, and Brazil. CBH Compagnie Bancaire Helvetique SA combines these organizations.

The Media and Difficulties

Eliminalia aids in “cleaning up” your image.

It has been alleged that CBH Compagnie Bancaire Helvetique SA spent slightly under 229,000 euros to Eliminalia, a Spanish reputation management, to erase content that connected it to accusations of money laundering and offshore entities, after employing ReputationUp, one of its partners.

U.S. investigation into corruption in Venezuela

There is some evidence linking CBH Compagnie Bancaire Helvetique SA to allegations of corruption in Venezuela, but not much. Although CBH was the victim of the plan’s crime, US authorities assert that CBH Bank is being utilized to launder the money earned by individuals in Venezuela through the fraud and embezzlement scheme after obtaining bank records. According to CBH, they abide by all laws and guidelines and are unaware of any money laundering activity.

The banking watchdog in Switzerland criticized CBH Compagnie Bancaire Helvetique SA for not doing enough to stop money laundering when providing services to wealthy offshore Venezuelan clients. Swiss National Councillor Prisca Birrer-Heimo requested swift legislative changes and chastised CBH Bank’s risk management.

Examination of corruption in Kazakhstan

Following payments from Kazakh billionaires, a report alleging potential money laundering was received by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority Finma. According to Sonntagszeitung, there has been previous coverage of a private bank with its headquarters in Geneva. A clan in Kazakhstan known as the Akhmetzhan Yessimovs is linked to extremely suspicious financial practices in this case.

In a piece about CBH, The Telegraph published an interview with Aliya Nazarbayeva, the youngest daughter of Nursultan Nazarbayev, the first President of Kazakhstan. In a London high court procedure, Alya Nazarbayeva is suing her former personal financial advisor for misconduct; her words are quoted in the paper.

It was one of her many claims that she had given him instructions to investigate purchasing a 51 percent stake in the CBH Bank at his recommendation. The $108 million meant to be invested in a controlling stake in CBH Compagnie Bancaire Helvetique SA was reported stolen to Ms. Nazarbayeva’s advisor in 2016. 

Florian, Homm

Before it collapsed in 2007, the hedge fund Absolute Capital Management (ACM), led by Florian Homm, managed assets worth up to $3 billion. 200 million US dollars were lost by investors, sources state. Accused of financial fraud in the United States, he disappeared in 2007. After his resignation, Florian Homm was accused of overvaluing some corporate assets by the surviving management of his company. From CBH Bank accounts, his spouse removed money.

Bahamas CBH

The Bahamas Supreme Court declared that CBH’s “serious error and negligence” permitted fraudsters to empty one of its clients’ accounts of almost $2 million. Judge Ian Winder blasted CBH Bahamas in a May 12, 2022 ruling for “failing to exercise the requisite due care and skill expected” when it overlooked indicators that it was communicating with criminals.

The story of Venezuela’s gold ingots

In a story published on August 3, 2020, the Associated Press misrepresented certain financial information concerning Banco CBH about a Venezuelan official who was purportedly buying gold to hide unexplained income. Assets under management for clients in Latin America and the Caribbean accounted for 19% of the bank’s operations last year. The AP has corrected the story to reflect that Banco CBH is unrelated to the inaccurate information that was previously provided. 

OFFSHORE LEAKS DATABASE

Regulatory proceedings have been taken against Banca Zarattini & Co. and CBH Compagnie Bancaire Helvetique SA as a result of recent investigations conducted by Swiss authorities. These investigations found that both companies failed to prevent money laundering while working with wealthy Venezuelan offshore clients.

To add insult to injury, Eliminalia, a Spanish corporation that manages reputations, has been called into question for employing dubious methods to wipe the pasts of its customers from the internet. Using deceptive strategies, such as pretending to be media organizations and filing bogus copyright complaints, the corporation, which has operations in many different locales, including Barcelona and Kyiv, removes content that is deemed to be unwanted.

Eliminalia’s operations were brought to light by a cache of 50,000 internal papers that were stolen by The Guardian. These documents demonstrate that Eliminalia’s customers include individuals and corporations who are looking to erase negative or humiliating information from the internet, as well as convicted criminals. Eliminalia’s practices pose ethical problems and have spurred international inquiries into misinformation, even though the company believes it is exploiting the “right to be forgotten” provision of the European Union.

In 2013, Diego “Didac” Sanchez established Eliminalia, which has since worked with more than 1,500 clients all around the world between the years 2015 and 2021, charging costs that can reach up to 100,000 euros. Eliminalia’s work has been defended by many clients, including individuals who have been accused of major offenses such as money laundering. However, the legal counsel for the company has pointed out that the inquiries are biased.

In general, the examples of Banca Zarattini & Co., CBH Compagnie Bancaire Helvetique SA, and Eliminalia shed light on the difficulties and ethical conundrums that are associated with financial institutions and reputation management organizations that are directly involved in problematic conduct.

Conclusion

Lastly, financial firms such as Banca Zarattini & Co. and CBH Compagnie Bancaire Helvetique SA are facing regulatory actions over their failure to prevent money laundering in their dealings with wealthy Venezuelan offshore clients, according to recent investigations by Swiss authorities. The difficulties that financial institutions like CBH Compagnie Bancaire Helvetique SA encounter in avoiding illegal financial transactions and remaining in compliance with regulations are highlighted by these results.

Additionally, CBH Compagnie Bancaire Helvetique SA’s alleged ties to persons charged with financial misbehavior and its participation in corruption claims in Kazakhstan and Venezuela cast a dark shadow over the credibility and ethics of the organization.

The use of misleading methods to remove negative information from the internet is just one example of the problematic reputation management practices that Eliminalia engaged in. The ethical dilemmas that arise from these practices and their effect on online accountability and transparency are brought to light by the revelations.

Given these results, regulatory bodies must investigate CBH Compagnie Bancaire Helvetique SA and similar financial institutions thoroughly to ensure they do not violate anti-money laundering laws and regulations. If reputation management companies like Eliminalia are serious about upholding ethical standards and protecting individuals’ privacy and data, then there has to be more openness and regulation in the industry.

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