HSBC’s failure to implement adequate money-laundering controls in Mexico is among lapses that US Senate investigators will criticize this week, according to Bloomberg, as the bank prepares to face a possible fine - according to media reports - of up to $1 billion.
The news service described how HSBC bought Grupo Financiero Bital in 2002, injecting $800 million into the Mexico City-based bank to meet capital standards. Money-laundering controls were largely absent in HSBC’s operations there in the ensuing years, the report said, citing unnamed sources.
Findings of the US Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations have not yet been disclosed.
The allegations against HSBC come at a time when non-US banks, such as Switzerland’s UBS and its rivals, have also come under pressure for allegedly aiding wealthy US citizens to evade taxes. The US and Swiss authorities have been in discussions to reach a broad bilateral diplomatic agreement to resolve the matter.