Julius Baer announced Monday it has set aside nearly $80 million in a proposed settlement with the Department of Justice regarding the agency’s corruption investigation linked to world soccer federation FIFA.
Under the terms of the settlement, Julius Baer is also expected to enter a three-year deferred prosecution agreement. The company said it anticipates it will execute a final resolution in this matter “shortly.”
“This will mark another step in Julius Baer management’s continued efforts to pursue the closure of remaining regulatory and legal matters in cooperation with the relevant authorities,” the company said. The DOJ launched its investigation in 2015 following allegations of money laundering and corruption involving officials and affiliates of FIFA and associated sports media and marketing companies.
The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) closed a related regulatory proceeding in February. In that investigation, FINMA uncovered several compliance shortcomings at Julius Baer, including lax KYC processes; due diligence failures; transactions that were insufficiently queried; misplaced incentives that encouraged breaches of legal obligations to combat money laundering; and systemic cultural issues.
Julius Baer said it is remediating the shortcomings that were identified. Those measures include “de-risking the business by re-documenting each one of the bank’s client relationships and discontinuing certain individual relationships and operations not commensurate with Julius Baer’s risk appetite; renewing and strengthening the entire risk organization; as well as introducing an enhanced Code of Ethics and Business Conduct.”