HSBC to pay $1.9 billion U.S. fine in money-laundering case

Comments (29)
Renox wrote:

Ordinary citizens go to jail for an offense like this. Bankers get “deferred prosecution”? You do not need to go to Africa to find corruption, it is in your backyard! The most shocking fact is that people not only tolerate this abuse, but continue to reelect these corrupt, criminal politicians who channel taxpayer money to their cronies. Truly, this entire charade with the “fiscal cliff” and austerity is just another smokescreen to continue this unprecedented wealth transfer from the poor and the middle class to the hands of the rich and powerful. A 21st Century serfdom, where the rulers hide behind democratically elected puppets and continue to plunder the economy. Nobody seems to care, nobody seems to notice…

Dec 11, 2012 4:21am EST  --  Report as abuse
bogwart wrote:

HSBC is not just “Europe’s Biggest Bank” (which it isn’t, Deutsche Bank is larger), but it is the second largest bank in the world. Which presumably why the USA feels able to fine it a far, far bigger sum than had it been an american bank.


Dec 11, 2012 6:59am EST  --  Report as abuse
tmc wrote:

Two justice systems. One for us, one for the Banksters.

Dec 11, 2012 7:12am EST  --  Report as abuse
Kuji wrote:

“Ordinary citizens go to jail for an offense like this. Bankers get “deferred prosecution”?”

Ordinary citizens don’t have FINRA and OFAC regulatory laws imposed on them. It’s hard to make that sort of comparison. This is pure negligence on the part of a very large institution. Which is surprising since the US takes these laws very seriously. And it cost HSBC 2 billion dollars, something ordinary citizens are typically not able to pay. It’s a pretty stiff fine and It’s not a bad deal for the US, considering putting these bankers in jail and then having to shell out ridiculous sums of money to keep them incarcerated is far less desirable than receiving 2 billion dollars.

Dec 11, 2012 9:07am EST  --  Report as abuse
QuietThinker wrote:

No one goes to jail – again! A few senior executives had some bonus clawbacks but I suspect that they remain filthy rich. Innocent shareholders foot the bill – again!

Dec 11, 2012 9:14am EST  --  Report as abuse
yooper wrote:

Years ago, HSBC issued a credit card to my late husband who left over $7000 in charges on it when he passed away of a heart attack. They chased me for payment and filed a suit against a trust in our names. I had no use or knowledge of the credit card, nor was it backed by any tangible collateral. They just figured they could scare a bereaved widow into paying up from the insurance proceeds. They got nada from me.

Dec 11, 2012 10:14am EST  --  Report as abuse
CMEBARK wrote:

The problem remains that the individuals engaged in this type of behavior see this as simply a cost of doing business. Unless and until there are some criminal prosecutions they will simply seek another way of engaging. DOJ is simply afraid to go to court because they don’t have any trial attorneys. What they recruit are a bunch of pretty boys who look good at news conferences.

Dec 11, 2012 10:52am EST  --  Report as abuse
Whittier5 wrote:

A mere slap on the wrist for the damages done …
regardless of the mumbo-jumbo, double-talk, triple-talk explanations from HSBC.

Let them eat cake! Then, send the Execs to JAIL and double the “fine”!

Dec 11, 2012 11:47am EST  --  Report as abuse
paintcan wrote:

So in other words: bankers and US regulators are borrowing a practice the Islamic world used to use when it was able to capture plum targets like lords, princes and kings during the Crusades. They would ask them for ransom and release them.

The fines also ignore the fact that the targets of the sanctions the bank was supposed to police, may not all actually deserve to be targets in a much bigger picture of legal or illegal global activities. But it’s only funny money. The bank knows it will make more where that came form.

Sanctions are a part of global warfare and are levied by what really are only warlords themselves. Other countries can sanction those who imposed the sanctions, and I suppose they will sooner or later, as soon as they are through with getting what they want out of the bigger economies.

The fines will be spent in the fire hose of US government spending in less than a day?

It does prove one thing: that justice is not blind when it comes to the money. It’s about the only thing that will arose it to do much of anything. Justice isn’t above taking bribes and payoffs and knows the art of extortion too.

Dec 11, 2012 12:17pm EST  --  Report as abuse
AlkalineState wrote:

Ten billion would have been better, but this is 2 billion more than Bush ever fined them. I’ll call this another Obama success.

Dec 11, 2012 12:54pm EST  --  Report as abuse

It’s good, but it’s not enough. These schmucks deserve to go to prison. Instead they’ll take a $2 billion pound of flesh out of their worker bees, shareholders and customers, collect huge end-of-year bonuses anyway, and jet off to some sunny paradise to congratulate themselves for dodging another bullet.

Dec 11, 2012 1:03pm EST  --  Report as abuse
sjfella wrote:

Even if any of those crooks went to jail King Obama would pardon them on his way out. Liberty and justice for all my left …

Dec 11, 2012 1:04pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Joblo1 wrote:

The governments and banks are in this together.

Shareholders get screwed and nobody goes to jail.

Watch the UK do even less.

Dec 11, 2012 1:05pm EST  --  Report as abuse
ChangeWhat wrote:

Where are the criminal charges?

According to the records compiled by the United States Sentencing Commission, in 2009, the United States Department of Justice typically convicted a little over 81,000 people; of this, approximately 800 are convicted of money laundering as the primary or most serious charge.

Dec 11, 2012 1:28pm EST  --  Report as abuse
UauS wrote:

Renox: well and rightly said! But… what’s instead? I guess, that’s the best what people can do this far. In the end, aren’t we just a bit more advanced in some ways animals?..

Dec 11, 2012 1:36pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Renox wrote:

“It’s a pretty stiff fine and It’s not a bad deal for the US, considering putting these bankers in jail and then having to shell out ridiculous sums of money to keep them incarcerated is far less desirable than receiving 2 billion dollars.”

What is the price Companies need to pay to give up your moral principles and sink further into moral nihilism? Why don’t you just put a price for each crime so that murderers, pimps and thieves can just get away by paying a fine?

Dec 11, 2012 2:19pm EST  --  Report as abuse
jeff6482 wrote:

What will happen with the 1.900 million fine money they collect?

Dec 11, 2012 2:26pm EST  --  Report as abuse
whitelotus7 wrote:

If I owned a business that laundered money for a drug cartel I would be put in prison. This bank processed over 670 Billion in suspect transactions and only faces a fine of 1.2 Billion. Our system is corrupt and rotten when the ones with the most connections can operate with free will while they suck the life blood out of the rest of humanity with complete impunity. Why is the CEO of every large corporation immune from the illegal actions of that company but any small business owner who gets out of line is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law?

Dec 11, 2012 2:55pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Bssgrl wrote:

why aren’t they thrown in jail, like Gitmo for this? Oh that’s right, you have to expose the truth for that to happen or speak out

Dec 11, 2012 3:15pm EST  --  Report as abuse
AlkalineState wrote:

“Bank now required to wear ankle monitor and submit to weekly piss-testing for three years.”

Would be nice.

Dec 11, 2012 4:17pm EST  --  Report as abuse
captaingrumpy wrote:

They will use stockholders money to pay the fine,BUT will anyone be charged????????

Dec 11, 2012 4:36pm EST  --  Report as abuse
slt42 wrote:

The laundering of the money is probably the reason they were able to build their nuclear facilities. Maybe we could call it treason.

Dec 11, 2012 6:12pm EST  --  Report as abuse
tyg wrote:

This is clearly another failure for the United States, with another defense of big business by the US Government. People in the US can’t send money because the FBI is tracking possible laundering, whereas the US government, including the FBI and our department of injustice works with foreign banks to look away from laundering of money that keeps drugs in American streets. How does this support our fight against drugs? How does this help our pretense to fight corruption world-wide. This is not a great example to use when we are criticizing other nations for corrupt governments. Again OBAMA fails to deliver a strong message to the world that there is equality among people. Is OBAMA really president or are the bankers and Bernanke?

If Americans, American Businesses, and American Industry truly believe this is war on the American economy get the guts to do what our government doesn’t have the guts to do, withdraw all your money from HSBC accounts. If you can’t then are we complicit with the US government by not taking the actions that neither our courts or “justice” system are willing to do in our name to stop drug money laundering and the support of worldwide criminal organized financial crimes.

I will do my part. I have sent a request to close my account and withdraw my funds from a criminal organizations like HSBC. I hope you are in a position to do the same. All it takes is a few thousand people to withdraw from the complicit acts.

It will be interesting how Hillary Clinton or the next republican election spins this failure into political advantage.

All it takes is a few thousands of people to take their money out of HSBC.

Dec 11, 2012 10:03pm EST  --  Report as abuse
mthirsty1 wrote:

After reading this article i think i have a way to just spread the word.I am going to forward it to every senator,government,congressman,and public offical i can think of,radio stations,television stations,relatives,and last but not least the president. What does president Obama say to his daughters when they ask him how our banks get away with working with drug cartels and not think a thing about it.We are on the highway to hell.

Dec 11, 2012 10:20pm EST  --  Report as abuse
EHTrlm88 wrote:

My husband and I have had accounts with both HSBC Singapore and HSBC Jakarta. The bank and it’s employees are the lowest of the low and feel they can treat anyone and anyone’s money as their own.

HSBC Singapore was suppose to do a very important transfer for us and neglected to do so and then over a 4 day period no one from the back was reachable via email concerning the transfer. Seems the upper management had decided to leave and take holidays and left a secretary in charge who never answered emails.

HSBC Jakarta, was worse, my husband transferred 10,000 USD from our USD account to our Idnonesian Rupiah account with all accounts being in HSBC Jakarta. He had paperwork proving this and for some reason some HSBC idiot reversed the transaction and we did not know until creditors were contacting us about overdue things that were supposed to be paid for with the transferred funds. HSBC Jakarta refused to discuss the issue with us and only said “Sorry” and that was it. We had had an account with them at the time for over 7 years and they could careless about it. We kept following up about it and we could not get answers that int he end instead of HSBC answering about their problem they told us their level of service was not up to the level that we expected and we were asked to move over 500,000 USD to another bank.

HSBC get’s what they deserve due to their dishonesty and arrogance.

Dec 12, 2012 12:43am EST  --  Report as abuse
tyg wrote:

According to public records HSBC is worth at least $3 trillion, $1.92 billion is a drop in their bucket, not even a 10th of 1%. While the investors are struggling to get 0.5% on their savings HSBC is using our, European, Middle Eastern, North and South African, Chinese, and American money to launder criminal organization money. This article does not begin to cover the full story. If the FBI allowed for this kind of information to leak out, can you imagine the real story? It is far more likely that this means HSBC is allowing the laundering of money for other organized crime, weapons dealers, and possibly terrorist organizations. The US Government can’t even begin to pretend to critique, present the State Department as some sort of high ground or moral superiority on the world stage. What next, Deutsche Bank is funding warfare and laundering for the Russian criminal organizations and worldwide trafficking of modern slaves? Nah, that sounds like conspiracy theory. It is greed and fear that keeps the average person from taking this more seriously than our government. I hope this is translated and people start to act locally to take their money out of supporting organizations like HSBC. It is unlikely we’ll be missing out on some great return on our savings, except to not fund the cartels and worldwide criminal organizations that keep drugs, weapons, gangs, bankers, lawyers, politicians and crime returning to our neighborhoods to take a bigger cut of the little we might have. The US again has no guts to protect its people from scum like HSBC banks.

Dec 12, 2012 12:58am EST  --  Report as abuse
bobbydigits wrote:

So much for corporations as people!…They would have put me under the jail on a RICO conviction, but only because I don’t have a stolen $Billion or two to buy my way out of it.

Dec 12, 2012 11:55am EST  --  Report as abuse
marndt wrote:

If the law can’t prosecute anyone in this case, who can it prosecute?

Dec 12, 2012 1:46pm EST  --  Report as abuse
indiaza wrote:

HSBC notified us that we would have to maintain a 100,000 balance in our account, and we happily moved our money last year before we even knew about the corruption. We went to the best credit union in the country and keep a “bum account” for the big name, traveling, etc. Why is anyone staying with the big banks in a big way anyway?

Dec 13, 2012 9:22pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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