On Thursday, the Watchdog of Switzerland has reprimanded he country’s third-largest bank, Julius Baer for negligence in handling money laundering risk involving 70 million Swiss franc (US$71 million) that was transferred to a customer from Venezuela in 2014 even with its prior knowledge that it was linked with corruption. This inaction was linked to a Venezuelan oil company PDVSA and a global soccer governing body, FIFA. It was reported that FIFA was involved in a bribery scandal which led to the ban of the FIFA president Joseph Blatter and his former president in 2015. Several irregularities of the bank until 2018 were also listed. Relative to this, the financial watchdog, FINMA has instructed the bank to ensure compliance and improve its controls including hiring an auditor to oversee the group, however, no financial penalty was placed on the bank. FINMA further stated that it had discovered several negligence of money laundering risks from the over 150 transactions that were assessed which occurred between 2009 and 2018, and Julius Baer admitted the faults and regretted the deficiencies spotted by the group.
An indictment had been filed against the former FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke, who was responsible for accepting the bribe. PDVSA, on the other hand, has been sanctioned from Washington, in an effort to oust the South American country’s President, Nicolas Maduro. FINMA had before now, given several instructions including being active to identify clients with high money laundering risk and take appropriate measures to avoid risk. Julius Baer said it had improved since then and would still take actions as required by FINMA.