Fidelity Bank to review transactions in FIFA probe

Cayman’s Fidelity Bank has announced plans to conduct an internal review of transactions linked to the FIFA corruption probe. 

U.S. prosecutors allege bribery payments to Jeffrey Webb were routed through Fidelity Bank accounts in the Cayman Islands, controlled by Webb’s attaché Costas Takkas. 

The bank’s parent company, Fidelity Group, said in a statement Tuesday that it had drafted in external experts to assist with the review of the transactions referred to in the indictment. Fidelity Group CEO Anwer Sunderji added, “Licensed institutions are required to report suspicious activity and we are satisfied that the bank discharged its duty with respect to the specific transactions. 

“We will be embarking on a comprehensive independent review of our procedures and processes to confirm that our bank is indeed in line with regulatory requirements.” The Cayman Islands Monetary Authority said Monday it was aware of the content of the indictment and was looking into the matter. 

“The authority takes these matters very seriously and in respect of the allegations relating to one of our licensees, we will act appropriately, dispassionately and in accordance with our obligations under the law,” the regulator said in a statement. 

The Fidelity statement said it took its role as a quality service provider within the financial services sector seriously and was cooperating fully with authorities. “Fidelity Group takes seriously the allegations surrounding Mr. Webb and the other individuals connected with the FIFA investigation. 

“The Bank is not aware of any allegations against it, but has been cooperating in full accordance with its responsibilities with regulators and other government authorities, and will continue to do so,” the statement added. 

As a regulated financial services group, the statement said, Fidelity has procedures for reporting suspicious activity, as per the Cayman Islands All Crimes Anti-Money Laundering Laws. Mr. Sunderji added, “The directors and executives consider the fight against money laundering to be a priority issue, and while we move through this process, we want to ensure that our valued customers and our staff understand that we will continue to operate as normal, providing our standard, high quality service”. 

He also expressed some sympathy for Mr. Webb, a former employee of the bank. 

“We share our deep disappointment at the indictment of Jeffrey Webb, a talented man who had the hopes of his country resting on his shoulders. We hope that he will be able to rebuild his life,” he said.