Factbox of HSBC money laundering probes

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 26 September, 2012, 12:38pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 26 September, 2012, 12:49pm


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HSBC Holdings has been investigated by 11 US law enforcement agencies or regulators, and a US Senate panel for lapses in policing illicit financial transactions. Fines, penalties and a settlement could total US$1 billion or more.


Here is a look at the probes:

West Virginia probe: The US Attorney in Wheeling, West Virginia, initiated an investigation into a local doctor that spawned a broader look at HSBC, leading the prosecutor to believe the bank had conducted “criminal money laundering activities.” The probe is supported by two Treasury Department agencies: Internal Revenue Service and Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.
Washington, DC-Brooklyn, New York probe: The Department of Justice’s Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section has conducted a joint inquiry with the US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York in Brooklyn. The probe is supported by the Drug Enforcement Administration, a unit of the Justice Department, and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a unit of the Department of Homeland Security.


Sanctions probe: The Justice Department, Manhattan district attorney, the Federal Reserve, and two Treasury Department agencies - the Comptroller of the Currency and the Office of Foreign Assets Control - are investigating transactions tied to sanctioned countries, including Iran.


Anti-money laundering lapses probe: The Federal Reserve and Comptroller of the Currency in October 2010 ordered HSBC to improve its anti-money laundering systems.


US Senate probe: The Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations in July issued a 339-page report that identified gaps in the bank’s policing of transactions tied to Mexico, Iran, the Cayman Islands and Saudi Arabia. The inquiry identified a “pervasively polluted” culture at the bank. Source: Justice Department documents, HSBC regulatory filing, US Senate report