December 22 – A report into the practices of Swiss bank Julius Baer by accountancy and financial consultancy specialist Deloitte has found a catalogue of mal-practice and poor governance.
Deloitte was sent in to examine the banking around FIFA-linked accounts and Brazil’s Petrobras scandal – the focus was on South American business in particular.
The resulting report that was filed in the summer to the Swiss financial watchdog in Bern and contains details that Swiss financial publication Insideparadeplatz says are explosive.
The report highlights the warning signs that were screaming red to Julius Baer bankers but which were, presumably deliberately, ignored by the bank at all levels.
The report says that in its examination of the FIFA-related accounts they found “missing documentation”, with in many cases the bank not even knowing who the beneficial owner (the real owner) of the account was – a key account criteria for all banks under international anti-money laundering rules and best practice.
The report also finds that the bank made almost no attempts to identify who beneficial account holders were or if they had changed. These audits are meant to take place every year with particular emphasis on ‘Politically Exposed Persons’. With many of the FIFA clients at Julius Baer highlighted as such, the checks should have been rigorous.
Ultimately what the failure in governance created was the perfect banking conditions for money laundering and tax evasion.
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