A raft of banks could face tough questions over how much they knew about millions of dollars in bribes flowing through the global banking system, as scandal engulfs FIFA. Kirsty Basset reports.
Banks are set to be investigated, as U.S. authorities continue their crackdown on alleged corruption in global football. It follows the arrest of nine FIFA officials and five other executives over charges involving almost $150 million in bribes. U.S. Prosecutors are likely to look into how much the banks knew about millions of dollars flowing through the U.S. banking system and beyond. Hong Kong's HSBC is one of the banks named on the indictment. Given Hong Kong's role as a financial centre, it was unsurprising some money had made its way through its banks says Francis Lun, CEO of Hong Kong brokerage GEO Securities. (SOUNDBITE) (English) GEO SECURITIES CEO, FRANCIS LUN, SAYING: "If you're making a million dollar deposit every day or every month, then you will attract investigation. But if you make a payment now and then, probably you will escape scrutiny." The indictment said the defendants relied heavily on the U.S. financial system in connection with their activities. None of the banks mentioned are accused of any wrongdoing - U.S. prosecutors say it's too early to say if there's any problematic behaviour. Admiral Markets' Darren Sinden. (SOUNDBITE)(ENLISH) ADMIRAL MARKETS DARREN SINDEN SAYING: "We're looking at those transactions with the benefit of hindsight. Billions, if not trillions of dollars and pounds are thrown through the banking system every day. Yes banks have a duty to try and screen out fraudulent transactions, potential money laundering, which they do for the most part very well." But as the investigations continue, there may be lessons to be learned. (SOUNDBITE)(ENGLISH) ADMIRAL MARKETS DARREN SINDEN SAYING: "Maybe we can look at the patterns of payments in these circumstances and perhaps create some systems which will alert us to them in the future." JP Morgan, Bank of America, Barclays and HSBC declined to comment, while Citi said it had been cooperating with the U.S. Department of Justice.