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Mexican drug cartels laundered billions through HSBC

Posted by iscariotes em 19 de julho de 2012

Fonte: The Sun

The shock report by a US Senate committee also claimed that the British-based bank provided services to some lenders in Saudi Arabia and Bangladesh — believed to have helped fund al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups.

The scandal today forced the bank’s head of compliance to resign in front of a US Senate subcommittee.

David Bagley, who had been HSBC head of group compliance since 2002, stepped down before the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs subcommittee after its findings were published.

It is another blow to the reputation of the banking industry following the scandal over the manipulation of the Libor inter-bank lending rate.

In the hearing, subcommittee chairman Senator Carl Levin said HSBC’s compliance culture had been “pervasively polluted for a long time”.

Today the bank said in a statement: “We will apologise, acknowledge these mistakes, answer for our actions and give our absolute commitment to fixing what went wrong.”

The report found that HSBC, which is among the ten largest banks in the US, moved billions of dollars from its affiliate in Mexico to the US.This was despite warnings that such sums could involve drugs proceeds.

US officials believe drug cartels laundered money through the bank’s US division between 2002 and 2009.

Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate investigations panel, said: “In the age of international terrorism, drug violence in our streets and on our borders, and organised crime, stopping illicit money flows that support those atrocities is a national security imperative.”

Mr Levin also criticised the federal agency supervising the bank’s US operations, saying it “tolerated” HSBC’s weak controls against money laundering.

The bank added that it has changed its senior management and moved to strengthen its compliance with rules to prevent money laundering.

The US Justice Department is conducting a criminal investigation into HSBC’s operations but has not said whether the bank is in settlement talks.

Em http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=121315

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