UK banks launch reviews over ‘corrupt’ Fifa payments

Barclays, Standard Chartered and HSBC are among banks looking into whether alleged corrupt payments passed through their accounts

British banks are combing through details of allegedly corrupt payments involving Fifa officials to assess whether they adhered to anti-money laundering and bribery rules, reports The Telegraph.

The banks are understood to be reviewing transactions worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, which were cited by US prosecutors last week as they indicted seven Fifa officials over bribery and corruption claims.

The three banks are among more than a dozen named in the 164-page indictment, and there is no allegation of any wrongdoing from the institutions.

However, they are understood to be reviewing the transactions as a precautionary measure to make sure they complied with anti-money laundering and “Know Your Customer” rules.

The transactions in question are:

  • A $200,000 payment from “Traffic”, a multinational sports marketing company accused of bribery, from a Barclays branch in New York to a Barclays Cayman Islands account owned by Chuck Blazer, the former general secretary of CONCACAF, on March 29, 1999
  • A $1.2m wire transfer from a Traffic bank account in Miami to a correspondent HSBC account in Buffalo, New York, which was then sent to a HSBC Hong Kong account of a front company for another co-conspirator on November 13, 2012
  • Two wire transfers of $750,000 and $250,000 from the HSBC Hong Kong account to a New York account of Standard Chartered, for credit to a Cayman Islands account held by Kosson Ventures, a company controlled by Costas Takkas, the attaché to Fifa vice president Jeffrey Webb on November 21, 2012
  • A $500,000 payment from another sports marketing company on December 5 2013 for credit to the HSBC account of a luxury yacht maker in London

Barclays and HSBC have not commented on the matter.

A Standard Chartered spokesman said “We are aware that two payments cleared by Standard Chartered are mentioned in the indictment. We are looking into those payments and will not be commenting further at this time.”