(Bloomberg) -- HSBC Holdings Plc’s Swiss private bank failed to carry out adequate checks on ‘high-risk’ accounts owned by politically-exposed persons designed to prevent money laundering, Switzerland’s banking regulator said.

HSBC Private Bank (Suisse) SA operated two high-risk business relationships where it failed to carry out an adequate check of either the origins, purpose or background of the assets involved, Finma said in a statement on Tuesday. The suspect transactions involving more than $300 million moved between Lebanon and Switzerland were carried out between 2002 and 2015, according to Finma.

“We acknowledge the matters raised by FINMA, which are historic,” HSBC said in a statement. The bank said it takes its anti-money Laundering obligations “very seriously including complying with all laws and regulations in every market we operate in.” The bank said it plans to appeal the decision and therefore won’t comment further.  

Finma did not name the individuals involved but ordered HSBC to conduct a review, with regard to anti-money laundering aspects, of all the current high-risk business relationships and business relationships with politically exposed persons. 

The bank won’t be allowed to enter into any new business relationships with politically exposed persons until such time as completion of the reviews has been confirmed by an outside auditor, Finma said.

--With assistance from Myriam Balezou.

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