• UBS says it has ‘received inquiries’ over FIFA banking links


    GENEVA: Swiss banking giant UBS said on Tuesday that it too had been questioned over links with FIFA, after Credit Suisse acknowledged last week it was being probed in the massive corruption scandal rocking football’s governing body.

    “UBS has, and reportedly numerous other financial institutions have, received inquiries from authorities concerning accounts relating to the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) and other constituent soccer associations and related persons and entities,” Switzerland’s largest bank said in its earnings statement.

    “UBS is cooperating with authorities in these inquiries,” it said.

    The announcement came after the bank’s main Swiss rival Credit Suisse announced Friday that it was under investigation by Swiss and US authorities over banking links with FIFA officials accused of bribery and corruption.

    Credit Suisse said the investigation focused on individuals and entities “including but not limited to certain persons and entities named and/or described in the May 20, 2015 indictment filed in United States” as part of an ongoing investigation into alleged FIFA corruption.

    FIFA has been in crisis since May, when US authorities announced charges against 14 officials and sports marketing executives over bribery allegations amounting to more than $150 million.

    As the investigation has deepened, the scandal-plagued organisation has come under pressure to undergo deep reform with major sponsors queueing up to demand FIFA become more accountable and transparent.

    Last month, long-time FIFA president Sepp Blatter was suspended, as was UEFA chief Michel Platini, who still has his sights set on Blatter’s job.

    A new FIFA head is set to be elected on February 26.

    Sponsors have been urging a reform process similar to that used by the International Olympic Committee after it was dragged into a bribery scandal over the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics.

    According to Swiss law, banks are required to report all suspicious accounts and transactions.

    In July, Swiss authorities said they had uncovered 81 suspected money laundering transactions linked to the FIFA scandal.



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