Wealth Briefing – 10 Years On From HSBC’s AML Saga – What Has Changed?
In 2012, HSBC was fined $1.9 billion for a lack of adequate control processes in compliance and anti-money laundering. HSBC was found guilty of providing money laundering services of more than $881 million to various drug cartels, including across Mexico and Colombia, as well as to terrorist groups in the Middle East.
Not only did this scandal highlight the financial impact that financial services companies face if they aren’t on top of their compliance checks, but it also put the spotlight on the societal issues that laundered money can exacerbate. In HSBC’s case, this was funding the biggest drug cartels in the world, as well as well-known terrorist groups – effectively making them complicit for all connected evils that these two criminal markets bring.
Surely, you would have thought that the societal effect of money laundering, or even the near $2 billion fine that HSBC received, would have acted as a serious wake up call for companies to get their house in order and their anti-money laundering checks under control.
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