Expatica news

Julius Bär reserves $80 million to settle FIFA corruption case

Swiss bank Julius Bär has reached a provisional agreement with the US Department of Justice (DOJ), which is investigating links to corruption involving world football’s governing body FIFA.

The three-year deferred prosecution agreement means the bank will put aside $79.7 million (CHF71.7 million) to meet expected fines, which will show up on its 2020 balance sheets.

“Julius Bär anticipates that it will execute a final resolution in this matter with the DOJ shortly,” the bank said in a press statement on Monday.

The investigation dates back to 2015, when Boris Collardi was head of the private bank (he is now with Geneva-based bank Pictet) and when a wide-ranging corruption scandal involving FIFA officials was revealed.

In 2017, a former banker with Julius Bär pleaded guilty in federal court in New York for his part in managing accounts that had laundered bribes for South American football officials. They included Julio Grondona, who was FIFA’s former senior vice president and finance committee chairman when he died in 2014.

The bank was also sanctioned earlier this year by Swiss financial watchdog FINMA for ignoring money laundering risks, including those related to FIFA-linked payments.

In response, the bank said it had addressed deficiencies and implemented measures like appointing new managers and beefing up its global risk management system. It also said its future focus would “shift from new money growth to sustainable profit growth”.