Football clubs represent high integrity risk to banks, says Dutch regulator

 
Oliver Gill
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Extraordinary FIFA Executive Committee Meeting
Keep an eye on the money, Dutch financial regulators have urged (Source: Getty)

Financial institutions need to up their game to combat football corruption, an investigation by the Dutch central bank has concluded.

Reporting today, the regulator said banks were exposed to greater "integrity risks" when taking on football clients.

And the central bank said this meant financial institutions should "apply a higher risk classification" when dealing with football clubs or other institutions associated with football, according to reports by Reuters.

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In practice, the higher risk category would mean banks should pay closer attention to transactions, in particular between clubs and governing bodies.

Global football has been blighted by allegations of corruption and malpractice over recent years.

In May 2015, US authorities raided a Zurich hotel and arrested seven high ranking officials from football's global governing body, Fifa.

An investigation followed, with the indictment of 30 Fifa officials by the FBI later in 2015.

Meanwhile, Fifa president Sepp Blater's position had become untenable. He was suspended and later placed under arrest following a criminal investigation. In February 2016, he was banned from holding any office at Fifa for six years.

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The Dutch central bank said 17 out of 19 banks it had surveyed had no specific risk-management measures in place for dealing football related business putting them at danger "knowingly or unknowingly", of becoming an accessory to money laundering.

In particular, player transfer transactions were concerning. Regulators said the opaque nature of transfer deals gave extra opportunity for costs and money to be concealed.

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