Sep 21, 2020

HSBC shares hit 25-year low on reports of alleged suspicious transfers

Shares in HSBC dropped to their lowest level in more than 25 years after the bank was named in weekend media reports alleging international lenders had flagged trillions of dollars in transfers to US anti-money laundering authorities. Banks and other financial services companies must file suspicious activity reports to authorities if they detect transactions that could indicate money laundering or other suspicious activity. UK banks HSBC and StanChart were among the five lenders that appeared most frequently in the Treasury documents, according to the ICIJ. StanChart disclosed more than $166bn in suspicious activity reports while HSBC disclosed almost $4.5bn, according to figures from the ICIJ. HSBC declined to comment on its suspicious activity reporting but said in a statement to the Financial Times that "All the information provided by the ICIJ is historical" and predated the conclusion of the bank's deferred prosecution agreement with the US Department of Justice in 2017. HSBC's Hong Kong-listed shares have fallen more than 50 per cent this year as the coronavirus pandemic and tensions between Beijing and Washington hit its operations. HSBC declined to comment on the Global Times report.

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