Julius Baer dismisses employee in internal FIFA probe: source

Reuters News
Posted: Jan 19, 2016 5:22 AM

ZURICH (Reuters) - Swiss bank Julius Baer has dismissed one of its client advisers as part of its internal investigation into ties with world soccer's governing body FIFA, a source familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

The employee left the company shortly after several soccer officials were arrested in Zurich last May, the source said, adding this was the only member of the bank's staff to be dismissed so far in connection with its FIFA probe.

Baer said in June it had opened an internal investigation in connection with FIFA after a corruption scandal engulfed soccer's governing body. The bank said at the time that it was fully cooperating with the authorities.

Zurich-based FIFA was thrown into turmoil last year when U.S. authorities announced the indictment of 14 people on May 27, seven of whom were arrested at their Zurich hotel.

Baer, Switzerland third-largest listed bank, was one of a number of banks mentioned as financial intermediaries in the U.S. Department of Justice's May charge sheet against high-ranking FIFA individuals.

A total of 41 individuals and entities, including many former FIFA officials, have now been charged with corruption-related offences in the United States. Swiss authorities are also investigating whether corruption played a role in FIFA's awarding of World Cup hosting rights to Russia and Qatar.

(Reporting by Joshua Franklin; Editing by Michael Shields and Keith Weir)