Three of Britain’s leading banks are conducting investigations into whether they cleared payments related to the ongoing Fifa corruption scandal.
HSBC, Barclays, and Standard Chartered are all understood to have launched internal probes, after the FBI arrested current former Fifa executives and associates.
Barclays and HSBC yesterday declined to comment. Standard Chartered said that it had nothing further to add to a comment issued last week, which said: “We are aware that two payments cleared by Standard Chartered are mentioned in the indictment. We are looking into those payments and will not be commenting further at this time.”
The issue of money laundering is highly sensitive for Standard Chartered, as it is undergoing increased money laundering monitoring in its New York office.
In August, the New York State Department of Financial Services extended by two years the presence of an independent compliance officer there, after the bank’s money laundering systems were criticised.
Barclays has also been trying to rebuild a tarnished reputation, under its new chief executive Antony Jenkins.
Both banks are highly involved in football. Barclays has been the title sponsor of the Premier League since 2001, although it is widely expected to give this up after next season,and Standard Chartered has been the main sponsor of Liverpool FC since 2010.
The Standard Chartered investigations centre around two wire transfers. The first was a $750,000 (£490,000) payment from one implicated firm to another, into a Standard Chartered account in New York on 21 November. The second was made on the same day, to a New York account, for $250,000.
A transfer between firms named in the indictment by the US department of Justice for $1.2m was made to an HSBC account in Hong Kong on 13 November 2012.
The Barclays transaction under scrutiny was made in 1999.
Yesterday, UK political pressure on Fifa also increased. Andy Burnham, the favourite to win the Labour leadership, said England should boycott the next World Cup in Russia.