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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

HSBC Helped Terrorists, Iran, Mexican Drug Cartels Launder Money, Senate Report Says

Trafficking in guns, drugs and slavery.

See this for how the Denizens in control of the Terrorist Banks wage war upon the innocent:

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7/16/2012 @ 11:09PM

HSBC Helped Terrorists, Iran, Mexican Drug Cartels Launder Money, Senate Report Says

HSBC Helped Terrorists, Iran, Mexican Drug Cartels Launder Money, Senate Report Says

Senator Levin grilling Goldman's
Lloyd Blankfein; he's after a big
bank again - Image credit: Getty
Images North America via @daylife

A Senate report released ahead of the embargo time revealed that HSBC’s lax anti-money laundering policies allowed Mexican drug money, Iranian terrorist money, and even suspicious Russian money to enter the U.S. and gain access to U.S. dollar liquidity over the last couple of years.

The report, released late on Monday despite a 10 PM embargo time, was prepared by the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, and counted with the support of Senators Carl Levin and Tom Coburn.

In a year-long investigation, the Subcommittee found that HSBC violated several rules, exposing the U.S. financial system to “a wide array of money laundering, drug trafficking, and terrorist financing.”  According to the report, HSBC’s Mexican affiliate channeled $7 billion into the U.S. between 2007 and 2008 which possibly included “proceeds from illegal drug sales in the United States.”

UPDATE: In a statement, HSBC acknowledged that “in the past, we have sometimes failed to meet the standards that regulators and customers expect.”  Vowing to improve their oversight and compliance with the law, they committed to fixing what is wrong, taking the opportunity to learn from previous mistakes.

HSBC actively circumvented rules designed to “block transactions involving terrorists, drug lords, and rogue regimes.”  In one case, “two HSBC affiliates sent nearly 25,000 transactions involving $19.4 billion through their HBUS [HSBC’s U.S. affiliate] accounts over seven years without disclosing the transactions’ links to Iran.”

They provided U.S. dollar financing and services to banks in Saudi Arabia and Bangladesh that were tied to terrorist organizations, while also clearing $290 million in “obviously suspicious travelers cheques” that benefitted Russians “who claimed to be in the used car business.”

Furthermore, the investigation showed how the bank’s regulator, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) failed to take a single enforcement action against HSBC despite numerous violations by the international bank.  Among them, failing to monitor $60 trillion in wire transfer and account activity, a backlog of 17,000 unreviewed account alerts regarding potentially suspicious activity, and a failure to conduct anti-money laundering due diligence before opening accounts for HSBC affiliates.

Senator Levin, whose scolding of Goldman Sachs’ Lloyd Blankfein during a hearing on collaterized debt obligations made him a well-known face in Wall Street, was hard on both HSBC and their regulator:

Due to poor AML [anti-money laundering] controls, HBUS exposed the United States to Mexican drug money, suspicious travelers cheques, bearer share corporations, and rogue jurisdictions.  The bank’s federal bank regulator, the OCC, tolerated HSBC’s weak AML system for years.  If an international bank won’t police its own affiliates to stop illicit money, the regulatory agencies should consider whether to revoke the charter of the U.S. bank being used to aid and abet that illicit money.

The Senate’s Subcommittee will reveal its findings on Tuesday during a Congressional hearing that will include testimony by HSBC officials and federal regulators.  This report is the latest in a string of embarrassments for the world’s major banks.  Only a few days ago, JPMorgan’s Jamie Dimon finally revealed further details on the so-called London Whale trades (which reportedly cost the bank more than $5 billion), while the on-going Libor manipulation scandal sparked a series of lawsuits that could be difficult to swallow for Barclays and other institutions involved.

HSBC’s New York-traded shares fell in post-market trading, as the report was leaked.  After a 0.3% decline during the trading session, the stock dropped 2.5% to $42.50 by the end of aftermarket trading.

HSBC Swiss bank 'aided terrorists and crooks' - The Local

HSBC Swiss bank 'aided terrorists and crooks'

Published: 08 Feb 2015 23:40 GMT+01:00

Photo: AFP

A data leak shows that HSBC’s private bank in Switzerland catered to clients seeking to evade taxes and those who were involved in money laundering, financing terrorism and drugs and arms trafficking, according to explosive reports from an international team of investigative journalists.

Until 2006, the Swiss branch of of the British banking giant managed tens of millions of dollars for Saudi Arabian businessmen suspected since 2001 of donating money to Muslim terrorist Osama Bin Laden, according to one of the revelations.

The bank also opened accounts for a crystal meth gang in the US and a drug dealer who was sentenced to seven years in prison for the transport of 1,1212 kilograms of cocaine, the findings summed up by the “Swiss Leaks” investigation say.
The information is part of research conducted by a team of 140 journalists from 40 media outlets around the world, including Swiss newspapers Tages Anzeiger, Der Bund, SonntagsZeitung, Le Matin Dimanche and Le Temps, as well as L’Hebdo, the weekly news magazine.
Since September 2014, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) has analyzed the data leaked in 2007 by Hervé Falciani, a former IT worker at HSBC in Geneva, who fled to France.
Described as the biggest banking leak in history, the information includes details of 30,000 accounts with total assets of around $120 billion.
The French government has passed on details of clients at the bank who were evading taxes to other countries, including Argentina, Belgium, Greece, Spain, the US and the UK.
French newspaper Le Monde acquired the data and shared it with journalists from other media groups, including The Guardian in the UK, BBC Panorama and CBS.

The data shows that HSBC actively engaged in helping clients dodge taxes, in addition to dealing with individuals involved in such unsavoury activities as weapons and drugs trafficking and “blood diamonds” dealing, Tages Anzeiger reported on its website on Sunday.
The bank also opened accounts for a “long list” of leading politicians and members of ruling families from “corrupt countries”.
The research shows that HSBC allowed clients to circumvent Swiss money laundering regulations, the reports said.

"HSBC profited from doing business with arms dealers who channelled mortar bombs to child soldiers in Africa, bag men for Third World dictators, traffickers in blood diamonds and other international outlaws," ICIJ said.
Clients included former and current politicians from Britain, Russia, India and a range of African countries, according to the files.
Names in the files included people sanctioned by the United States, such as Turkish businessman Selim Alguadis and Gennady Timchenko, an associate of Russian President Vladimir Putin targeted by sanctions over Ukraine.
Former Egyptian trade minister Rachid Mohamed Rachid, who fled Cairo during the 2011 uprising against former president Hosni Mubarak, is listed as having power of attorney over an account worth $31 million, according to the files.
Other individuals named include Frantz Merceron, an associate of former Haitian president Jean Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier, and Rami Makhlouf, cousin of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

HSBC has responded to the reports with an admission in a statement to the ICIJ that it is no longer operating in the way it did in 2007.
Like other private banks it “assumed that responsibility for payment of taxes rested with individual clients, rather than the institutions that banked them.”
In some case individuals took advantage of banking secrecy to hold undeclared accounts and this resulted in a “number of clients” who may not have complied with their tax obligations, HSBC said.
It noted that the Swiss private bank has cut its client base by almost 70 percent since 2007 as it weeded out those who did not meet its new standards.
The Swiss bank was acquired in 1999 and was not fully integrated into HSBC, allowing “different cultures and standards” to persist, HSBC added.
It operated in a decentralized way allowing for units to make decisions at the country level, it said.
The HSBC Private Bank, based in Geneva, was largely created through the acquisition by HSBC of the Republic National Bank of New York and Safra Republic Holdings.
The bank said a new group management in early 2011 “fundamentally changed” its structure and method of operation, while overhauling its private banking business, with new controls implemented on cash withdrawals, among other changes.

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