HSBC to pay $1.9 billion U.S. fine in money-laundering case

Dec 12, 2012 - by - 0 Comments

(Reuters) - HSBC Holdings Plc agreed to pay a record $1.92 billion in fines to U.S. authorities for allowing itself to be used to launder a river of drug money flowing out of Mexico and other banking lapses.

Mexico's Sinaloa cartel and Colombia's Norte del Valle cartel between them laundered $881 million through HSBC and a Mexican unit, the U.S. Justice Department said on Tuesday.

In a deferred prosecution agreement with the Justice Department, the bank acknowledged it failed to maintain an effective program against money laundering and failed to conduct basic due diligence on some of its account holders.

Under the agreement, which was reported by Reuters last week, the bank agreed to take steps to fix the problems, forfeit $1.256 billion, and retain a compliance monitor. The bank also agreed to pay $665 million in civil penalties to regulators including to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Reserve, and the Treasury Department.

"We accept responsibility for our past mistakes. We have said we are profoundly sorry for them, and we do so again. The HSBC of today is a fundamentally different organization from the one that made those mistakes," HSBC Chief Executive Stuart Gulliver said. Read More

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