Today is the 10th anniversary of Lehman Brothers bank collapse prompting the start of the Global Financial Crisis in 2018. This week there was a tweet with the list of the top ten bankers responsible for the GFC. It was blank. The following is of an earlier bank failure which also did not find certain bankers culpable either.
BCCI was the Bank of Credit and Commerce International however it gained the more apt moniker Bank of Criminals, Conmen International. The Bank of England was the banking regulator in 1991 when the BCCI crashed owing billions of pounds of undeclared debts, and has long been accused of turning a blind eye to fraud that occurred.
BCCI was set-up in 1972 by Pakistani businessman Agha Hasan Abedi, to initially create a bank for the third world with backing from Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nayhan, then ruler of the Abu Dhabi emirate. However the bank quickly moved it’s operations into the West.
Although BCCI had been incorporated in both Luxembourg and the Cayman Islands, both tax havens, the BoE, having granted BCCI a banking licence, had a duty to supervise it. BCCI even had it’s headquarters in London close to the Bank of England in Threadneedle St.
Brian Quinn, before he became Celtic chairman, worked at the Bank for over 20 years, and he was chair of the Board of Banking Supervision charged with overseeing BCCI when it operated in London and then collapsed in 1991.
In the UK, as well as many ordinary depositors losing their savings, many of which were Asian small businesses, several local authorities lost millions including the Western Isles council which lost £24m.
In an attempt to restore confidence in the BoE’s supervision, Lord Justice Bingham was charged with investigating the collapse and brought out a report in 1992.
How good a job did Mr Quinn do of Banking Supervision?
This is MP Peter Hain in the House of Commons describing Brian Quinn, just after the Bingham Report was published, on 6 Nov 1992 from Hansard:
What was discovered after BCCI collapsed?
As well as giving out multi-million dollar loans which were unpaid, BCCI had been used to illegally transfer, store & launder billions of dollars from numerous criminal networks, fund terrorism & CIA, MI5/MI6 black projects:
Drug cartels: Money laundering for Columbian, Afghan, Pakistani, Burmese drug lords.
Terrorists: like Abu Nidal (Osama Bin Laden was an ally at this time)
Afghan Mujahideen: funding of arms by US & UK to fight Russians in Afghanistan incl. Osama Bin Laden. Start of Al Qaeda.
Iran Contra scandal: Oliver North set-up Panamanian bank a/cs for funding Nicaraguan Contras while selling arms to Iran.
Saddam Hussein: Regan/Bush support for Iraq in war against Iran passed through accounts.
Attempts to investigate BCCI stymied by US and UK National Security
UK Parliament tried to investigate the BCCI collapse but it was blocked by national security concerns. It was alleged that BCCI accounts were used to fund black ops projects for MI5/MI6. Indeed one appendix, Appendix 8, of the Bingham Report was excluded when the report came out.
Jack Straw, Labour Foreign Secretary, in 2002 raised public interest immunity orders preventing publication of the MI5/MI6 details in Appendix 8 of the Bingham report.
John Kerry, then a US Senator, compiled a report which shone more light on BCCI than the UK establishment wanted but still national security closed down further digging. From Global Research, October 12 2010:
Brian Quinn Prevented Early Shutdown down of BCCI
Former Celtic chairman Brian Quinn was previously at the Bank of England where he was in chair of the Board of Banking Supervision. He did not have a good track record. Three banks collapsed during his period in charge. The worst was BCCI Bank of Credit Commerce International. The other two banks were Barings Bank, which collapsed in 1995 due to futures trading losses involving Nic Leeson, and Johnson Matthey Bankers, a London Bullion dealer was nationalised by the BoE in 1984 when it failed. Although in the case of the latter two banks there were not the same warnings as BCCI. Still, what is the point of the BoE reassuring depositors, shareholders & counter-party banks saying it was supervising if it could not do it’s job. If you cannot ride a horse bareback while juggling then you should not be in the circus.
BCCI had been granted a licence to trade in the UK by the Bank of England in 1980, and had a bank network of branches.
Brian Gent the Bank of England BCCI supervisor advised twice, in 1983 and 1986, that BCCI should be closed down but Brian Quinn with support from Robin Leigh-Pemberton the Governor, overrode that advice allowing it to continue until 1991, a further 8/5 years respectively.
Bank of America, which at one time held a shareholding in BCCI also warned the Bank of England that BCCI’s business practices were dodgy and this was ignored as well.
Why, when he was warned several times years before, did Brian Quinn override advice from both internal and external reputable sources? To whose benefit was he acting? Was the quid pro quo from MI5/MI6 that the BoE would be protected? The delays were certainly not to the benefit of UK depositors.
Deloitte’s Damages Claim on Behalf of BCCI Creditors
In 1993, liquidators for BCCI creditors, Deloitte’s, issued a writ to sue the Bank of England on behalf of the creditors claiming up to £1bn in damages even challenging the Bank’s statutory immunity against being sued. It took until 2004 for the case to come to court. Liquidators’ lawyers accused 22 supervisory officials and staff of the Bank of England of a massive cover-up over 11 years. Brian Quinn as one of the main bank supervisory officials was one of the main witnesses called to give their testimony. From the FT June 13 2005:
The Bank of England is legally protected from negligence claims therefore the lawyers pursued the stronger claim of “misfeasance”, and had to prove that Bank officials were not just reckless but acted dishonestly.
The claim failed due to the fact that although they were incompetent it was found that the bank officers did not act dishonestly.
When Tony Blair’s Labour came to power in 1997 they moved bank supervision from the Bank of England to the FSA (Financial Services Authority) which was a bit of a reflection on the the Bank’s failures in supervision.
Mr Quinn’s career comes full circle
After the BoE, Mr Quinn went on to become a non-executive director at Celtic in 1996 then chairman (2000-2007) then he joined UEFA under their Financial Fair Play (FFP) section in the UEFA Club Financial Control Body. After missing BCCI financial misdemeanors he was seen as ideal for tracking the financial ‘creative’ accounting of UEFA clubs.
BCCI at the time it collapsed was the seventh largest bank in the world. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, then the President of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), owned 77% of the bank at the time of its demise. Sheikh Zayed was also Emir of Abu Dhabi. It’s funny that Quinn was responsible for looking at FFP over clubs like Manchester City. Especially since Manchester City had been bought £265m in 2008 by Mansour bin Zayed Al Nayan whose father was Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
So Mr Quinn ‘supervised’ both the father’s bank and the son’s football team financial dealings. Hmmm …
Celtic have also a direct familial close relationship with Manchester City through Lawwell & Son.
So Mr Quinn is not the only member of the Celtic board to be caught out not watching when money laundering was happening in banks they were supposed to be overseeing, Mr Desmond as investor/board director of Rietumu Banka and Mr Quinn as one of the main supervisory regulators of BCCI.
For a club that likes to see themselves as anti-establishment it’s strange that Celtic have had chairmen like Brian Quinn and John Reid, both of which were members of the protected UK Deep State establishment.
The billions lost especially in third world countries but some of which was also lost to UK authorities could have provided a lot of schools, hospitals & services.