Democracy Now: Senate Probe Links HSBC to Money Laundering

A Senate report has found lax controls and inadequate oversight allowed Mexican drug cartels and firms linked to terrorism obtain financial services from the banking giant HSBC. The report found loose protections at HSBC’s U.S. unit provided a “gateway for terrorists to gain access to U.S. dollars and the U.S. financial system.” Among other allegations, the bank reportedly supplied a billion dollars to a firm whose founder had ties to al-Qaeda. HSBC is also accused of shipping billions in cash from Mexico to the U.S., despite warnings the money was coming from drug cartels. The report frames rampant violations at HSBC as part of a larger problem of illegal money entering the United States through international financial firms. In addition to HSBC, legislators also faulted a top U.S. bank regulator for failing to properly monitor the bank. Michigan Democratic Senator Carl Levin called HSBC’s culture “pervasively polluted” and said lax government oversight has helped fuel financial wrongdoing. The report on HSBC comes amid widespread scandals in the global financial sector, including news the British bank Barclays manipulated a key global interest rate.

~ by wheresthemic on July 17, 2012.

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