Swiss banking authorities said they are cooperating with a U.S. investigation of Bank of New York Co. for alleged money laundering tied to organized crime in Russia.

"We are in contact with the American authorities," said Urs Zulauf, an official of the Swiss Banking Commission, which regulates the industry.

The U.S. probe involves Bruce Rappaport, a Swiss banker who owns the Bank of New York-Inter Maritime Bank, a Geneva institution, according to The New York Times, which cited a person close to the investigation.

Bank of New York-Inter Maritime, which is 28%-owned by Bank of New York, denied any wrongdoing.

Bank of New York-Inter Maritime said Mr. Rappaport's role is "supervisory" and that of nonexecutive chairman. "He doesn't refer clients to the bank, nor has he ever brought business to the Bank of New York," the bank said.

Matthew Stevenson, chief executive of the Geneva bank, said in a note to employees, directors, and shareholders that Mr. Rappaport has no "professional or personal dealings with any of those mentioned in the allegations."

Mr. Rappaport was traveling and could not be reached to comment, an official of the bank said.

Mr. Zulauf said the banking commission has been working with U.S. authorities "for a few weeks."

He added that it was not possible to say whether or when the investigation will yield further results, and he would not comment on any details of the probe. -- Bloomberg News

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