On February 12, FIDE treasurer Dr. Adrian M. Siegel wrote a letter to delegates of National Federations and other officials to clarify banking problems related to Kirsan Ilyumzhinov’s presence on the US Sanction list. Siegel explained that after a couple years of leeway, FIDE’s Swiss Bank UBS announced they would close FIDE accounts. “In summary, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov’s problems severely damage FIDE’s business activities and we have to look for a new bank connection.” Read the FIDE letter here. The news was picked up by the mainstream press including BBC and Reuters.
In response to the media coverage, FIDE followed up with a letter addressing frequently asked questions, such as “Why doesn’t FIDE just remove Kirsan Ilyumzhinov from his presidency?” Dr. Seigel’s response on behalf of FIDE: “In FIDE’s statute this option is not given. Thus, a president remains in his/her position for the entire elected term. This means, if an elected person does not want to resign from his/her position it is very difficult to handle such a problem. However, to protect FIDE the Presidential Board went as far as the statute allows.”