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Case study: BCCI collapse

Implications for Corporate Governance

The Luxembourg-registered Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) was founded in 1972 by Agha Hasan Abedi, with HQs in Karachi and London. By 1982 BCCI operated in 78 countries, with over 400 branches, and assets exceeding $20bn, making it the 7th largest private bank in the world. Following regulatory concerns and investigations BCCI was found to be established fraudulently, trading illegally on a vast scale, including money-laundering, and in 1991 regulators raided and shut its operations in seven countries. Legal actions involving $100s of millions persisted for more than ten years including substantial damages settlements from BCCI auditors Price Waterhouse and Ernst Young. The BCCI scandal was a major prompt, along with Polly Peck's collapse, for the 1991/2 UK Cadbury Committee on Corporate Governance.