B.C.C.I. Hits Home

A Saudi bank roils the markets after its top officer is indicted

All last year Americans heard of the labyrinthine lawlessness of the Pakistani Bank of Credit & Commerce International. But unlike depositors shut out in places like Britain and Hong Kong, they felt no real impact. That changed after a New York grand jury indicted Sheik Khalid bin Mahfouz, head of Saudi Arabia's National Commercial Bank, for fraud in connection with the scandal. Last week the Federal Reserve sought a $170 million fine from Mahfouz -- the largest ever from an individual -- for his alleged role in illegally buying a controlling interest in Washington's First American Bankshares from B.C.C.I., and the...

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