HSBC's $1bn 'money-laundering' apology
Big cheeses at HSBC are going to face a Congressional committee next week. The US government are trying to stop banks moving money through countries including Iran, Cuba and Sudan. Basically, money is being laundered through the finance system, which is nice to know after the banks went power-mad and caused a recession, not to mention the whole Libor-rigging scandal.
HSBC are the only British bank with a network in America and there looks like there's going to be some huge fines handed out.
Stuart Gulliver, HSBC’s chief executive, told staff yesterday that “between 2004 and 2010, our anti-money laundering controls should have been stronger and more effective and we failed to spot and deal with unacceptable behaviour,” adding “it is right that we be held accountable and that we take responsibility for fixing what went wrong”.
HSBC have confessed that some of these investigations focus on historical transactions with “Iranian parties”. Basically, America and the EU are trying to make it difficult for Iran to fund its nuclear reactor programme. The Congressional committee said they will be using HSBC as a case study to look at “the money laundering and terrorist finance vulnerabilities created when a global bank uses its US affiliate to provide US dollars, US dollar services and access to the US financing system to high-risk affiliates, high-risk correspondent banks and high-risk clients”.
So there you have it. A bank, basically being accused of helping terrorism. That's nice isn't it?