New York - US regulators are probing large banks including Credit Suisse,
Deutsche Bank and HSBC over their possible handling of tainted funds in the
FIFA corruption scandal, two people familiar with the matter said on Thursday.
Investigators with the Department of Justice and New York's Department of
Financial Services are focusing, in separate investigations, on whether banks'
internal controls, including those against money laundering, failed to spot
questionable payments by figures in the scandal involving top officials of
soccer's world governing body.
Other banks in the probes include Barclays, Standard Chartered, Israel's
Bank Hapoalim, and New York-based Delta National Bank, according to the
Rob Sherman, a spokesperson for HSBC Holdings in New York, confirmed aspects of
the probe in an emailed statement.
"We are continuing to review the allegations in the indictments against
certain FIFA executives and others, to ensure that our services are not being
misused for financial crime," he said.
Meanwhile Visa, the US credit card issuer and a major sponsor of global
soccer, expressed a lack of confidence in FIFA's leadership on Thursday and
called for an independent commission to help reform the body.
Visa chief executive Charlie Scharf said in a statement that FIFA's
responses to the corruption allegations "continue to show its lack of
awareness of the seriousness of the changes which are needed."
"Two things need to happen to ensure credible reform," Scharf
"First, an independent, third-party commission led by one or more
impartial leaders is critical to formulate reforms. Second, we believe no
meaningful reform can be made under FIFA's existing leadership."
FIFA has been under scrutiny since Swiss police raided a luxury hotel in
Zurich on May 27 to make arrests in a sprawling corruption probe of the
international soccer body.
US authorities have charged 14 people in all - soccer officials and sports
business executives - over more than $150 million in bribes paid to secure
television and marketing contracts for football tournaments.
Swiss authorities are in parallel investigating the award of the 2018 and
2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar respectively.
In the wake of the scandal, non-government activists have called for tough
scrutiny of large banks, arguing that they turned a blind eye to evidence of