A US Senate committee has accused British bank HSBC of routinely passing suspicious funds through its banking system. It is the latest financial institution to fall well short of expectations.
As a result of the scathing 400-page report HSBC’s head of compliance, David Bagley, resigned.
“I recognise there have some significant areas of failure. I have said before, and I will say again, despite the best efforts and intentions of many dedicated professionals HSBC has fallen short of our own expectations and the expectations of our regulators,” Bagley said.
The US prohibits financial dealings with Iran and certain other countries, yet between 2001 and 2007 HSBC affiliates dealt with 25,000 transactions linked to Iran worth over 19 billion US dollars.
The bank promised to change its “polluted culture” and close 20,000 accounts in the Caymen Islands.
HSBC could now face a fine of up to one billion dollars.