Investigation: HSBC Laundered Drug Money

Europe's largest bank allowed drug cartels to launder billions of dollars through its U.S. operations, and skirted bans against transactions with Iran. Those are among the findings of a Senate investigation of London-based HSBC. Executives from the bank are in Washington for a hearing on the probe.

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

An apology from a giant bank is at the top of NPR's business news.

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INSKEEP: The bank is HSBC. It's the biggest bank in Europe, also has a U.S. division. And a top official from that U.S. division is apologizing to lawmakers on Capitol Hill this morning for lax controls at the bank. Another senior official is stepping down. The lapses allowed drug cartels to launder billions of dollars through HSBC. That's according to a Senate investigation that says the company also helped clients skirt American law and route money to places like Iran and Syria. The bank is also being investigated by the Justice Department.

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