Dec 11, 2017

HSBC set free from deferred US criminal charges

The US Department of Justice has given HSBC a significant boost by dismissing the deferred criminal charges that have been hanging over the bank since it was fined for money laundering and sanctions breaches five years ago. HSBC said the DoJ would file a motion with the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York seeking the dismissal of the charges deferred by the agreement it reached as part of a settlement with the bank in December 2012. The deferred prosecution agreement meant the DoJ could have reopened the criminal case against HSBC if the bank had repeated similar breaches during that period. HSBC signed the DPA in 2012 to avoid criminal charges for allegedly laundering at least $881m for Mexican drug barons and handling transactions for countries under US sanctions, such as Iran, Libya and Sudan. HSBC warned in its last annual report that the independent monitor appointed by the DoJ to assess its anti-money laundering and sanction compliance programme had "Expressed significant concerns" about the pace of the bank's attempts to clean up its act.

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