Zurich  —  Julius Baer may pay tens of millions of dollars to settle US allegations over its role in soccer body Fifa's corruption affair, the Swiss bank said on Wednesday, adding it will ask shareholders in November to a back a second 2019 dividend payout.

Baer is in “advanced” talks with the US department of justice over the Fifa scandal, a holdover from the era of former CEO Boris Collardi, who is now at Pictet, that has kept its lawyers busy for years.

Earlier in 2020, Baer was reprimanded by Switzerland's financial supervisor Finma for ignoring money-laundering risks of Fifa-linked payments, while a former banker was convicted in 2017 in US district court of conspiracy charges for arranging payments from a sports marketing executive to the Argentinian soccer association's president.

“Julius Baer has been co-operating since 2015 with the US department of justice in its investigation of alleged money-laundering and corruption involving officials and affiliates of Fifa and associated sports media and marketing companies,” Baer said in a statement.

“The bank is now in advanced discussions  about reaching a resolution in such matter, which may result in the payment of a double-digit million US dollar amount.”

The bank said that it planned to propose the distribution of the second part of its 2019 dividend at a November 2 extraordinary shareholder meeting.

Baer was among Swiss banks that proposed splitting its Sf1.50 per share dividend in 2020 out of caution over the coronavirus's affect on finances.


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