US Plans to Fight Foreign Corruption Likely to Raise Questions for Banks

By Valentina Pasquali and Irene Madongo

Recent U.S. efforts to further clamp down on corruption and offshore bribery are likely to translate into renewed scrutiny of bank relationships with high-risk clients, say attorneys. As part of a legislative and regulatory package announced last week, Justice Department officials said they would soon seek congressional approval to prosecute kleptocrats for violations of any foreign law included in the 2003 U.N. Convention Against Corruption. The department is separately requesting the power to directly subpoena banks for information related to ongoing money laundering probes and to more readily obtain and use account and transactional data from foreign financial institutions as...