HSBC Agrees To Settle Money-Laundering Case

  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

The Justice Department is expected to announce Tuesday that it has settled a money laundering case against HSBC. The British bank announced early Tuesday it has agreed to pay $1.9 billion to settle allegations of money laundering.


This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.


And I'm Renee Montagne.

British banking giant HSBC will pay 1.9 billion dollars to the U.S. to settle allegations of money laundering. In a statement released overnight, the bank said it accepts responsibility for past mistakes. U.S. officials will have further details of the settlement later today. NPR's Jim Zarroli has more.

JIM ZARROLI, BYLINE: The settlement will be announced at a press conference in New York by the Justice Department and several other law enforcement agencies. HSBC is one of several foreign banks that have been under investigation for money laundering.

In 2010, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency cited the bank for suspicious transactions and a criminal investigation was launched. Over the summer, a Senate subcommittee said Mexican drug cartels had done business through the bank. In addition, the subcommittee said HSBC had processed transactions on behalf of Iran, Sudan and other countries that are barred from doing business in the U.S.

HSBC officials subsequently apologized for allowing the lapses to occur and hired financial experts to beef up their controls against money laundering. Now the bank has agreed to a sizable financial penalty as well.

HSBC is not the only foreign bank to be accused of money laundering. Yesterday, the British bank Standard Chartered agreed to pay $327 million to settle charges that it helped Iran and other countries evade U.S. sanctions. U.S. officials and the Manhattan District Attorney's office have also filed similar charges against Credit Suisse, ING and Barclays.

Jim Zarroli, NPR News, New York.

Copyright © 2012 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor

Support comes from