HSBC being punished for 'stunning failures': US
Published on Dec 12, 2012 6:44 AM
NEW YORK (AFP) - HSBC intentionally broke United States (US) sanctions on Iran and other countries, and laundered Mexican drug money to build its business, the US said on Tuesday as it socked the global banking giant with US$1.92 billion (S$2.35 billion) in fines.
US authorities blasted the British bank's internal controls as "knowingly and willfully" lax as it enabled forbidden financial transactions with Iran, Libya, Sudan, Cuba and Myanmar from the 1990s to 2006.
Its Mexico branch also freely allowed hundreds of millions of dollars to be laundered through HSBC by drug groups, the Justice Department said.
The US said the bank violated US sanctions laws, the Cold War-era Trading with the Enemy Act aimed at Cuba, and numerous banking regulations as it exposed the US financial system to terrorists and drug cartels.
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