ZURICH Jan 3 Basler Kantonalbank is to
put aside 50 million Swiss francs ($55 million) to compensate
clients who lost money they invested via the Swiss bank in
foreign exchange trading firm ASE.
ASE has been under investigation by Swiss authorities since
March when Basler raised the alarm after a client noticed
discrepancies between an e-banking account and account documents
forwarded from the Aargau-based investment firm.
Basler chief executive Hans Rudolf Matter stepped down last
week after the bank said it estimated clients could have lost
more than 100 million francs investing with ASE.
In October, Basler said it had dismissed three employees at
its Zurich branch and handed written warnings to four more after
an investigation by law firm Baer & Karrer found they had not
been sufficiently vigilant.
The bank said the amount used to compensate clients would be
taken from reserves for general banking risks, reducing expected
net income by 50 million francs in its 2012 results.
BKB shares were 0.2 percent higher at 0850 GMT, in line with
the European banks index.
($1 = 0.9138 Swiss franc)
(Reporting by Martin de Sa'Pinto; Editing by Dan Lalor)