A few more institutions were last week added to the list of banks said to have 'enabled' Enron to carry out the massive fraud which eventually led to its bankruptcy.
The Wall Street Journal reports that CSFB, National Westminster Bank (now owned by Royal Bank of Scotland) and Toronto Dominion Bank were all mentioned in a report last week, authored by Enron examiner Neal Batson. The report says that there is 'sufficient evidence' to suggest that all three banks aided and abetted Enron employees breach their fiduciary duties.
CSFB is said to have been aware of Enron's financial position, but would not permit a bond analyst to raise research concerns about the business as Enron was a good fee-paying client. Certain staff at NatWest also clearly viewed Enron in terms of their own bonuses. One banker is said to have declared in an e-mail to a colleague that 'greed and avarice.....and the year-end bonus raise their ugly heads'.
A CSFB spokesperson hit out at the report, calling the examiner's conclusions 'unfounded' and based on a 'selective reading of the record'. The other banks named as Enron 'enablers' in an August report include Barclays, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan Chase and Merrill Lynch. Some of these firms have already settled with a variety of prosecutors, whilst other vigorously defend their actions and deny wrongdoing.