Some of the world’s biggest banks could be dragged into the FIFA bribery scandal
Nobody has come out of the FIFA bribery scandal looking good, but one group that has been overlooked could soon find itself in the spotlight: banks.
They include Barclays, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, HSBC, Citibank, Standard Chartered, and UBS. Huge sums, often in the hundreds of thousands and sometimes millions, were transferred to and from accounts held at these banks, according to the indictment.
Bank of America, Barclays, HSBC, Standard Chartered, and JPMorgan all declined requests to comment from Business Insider.
Citibank told Business Insider: “We have been cooperating with the Justice Department during their investigation.”
We’ve reached out to UBS for comment and will update when we hear back.
The DOJ writes in its indictment that football officials involved in the bribery scandal “frequently engaged in banking and investment activities with United States financial institutions” and “relied heavily on the United States financial system.”
The defendants and their co-conspirators made “use of various mechanisms, including trusted intermediaries, bankers, financial advisers, and currency dealers, to make and facilitate the making of illicit payments.”
The Financial Times reports that Kelly Currie, acting US attorney for the eastern district of New York, is investigating whether the banks knew they were facilitating bribe payments. If she thinks they did, the banking industry could be dragged into yet another scandal.
It wouldn’t be the first time a big bank has been rapped for this type of thing. HSBC had to pay a blockbuster $1.91 billion (£1.24 billion) fine for money laundering in 2012, involving the transfer of drug money out of Mexico.