- HSBC moved huge sum from Mexico into the U.S. between 2007 and 2008
- Provided services for Saudi Arabia’s Al Rajhi Bank linked to financing terrorism
- Senate investigation suggests they also moved money tied to Iran
- Accuses bank of ‘pervasively polluted’ culture
- Another hammer blow to the credibility of British banking system after Barclays was fined for allegedly rigging LIBOR interest rate
PUBLISHED: 13:23 GMT, 17 July 2012 | UPDATED: 15:15 GMT, 17 July 2012
HSBC has been accused of handling money from Mexican drugs cartels and working alongside a Saudi Arabian bank with links to international terrorism following a probe by the U.S. Senate.
An explosive report claims a ‘pervasively polluted’ culture at the bank led it to act as financier to clients seeking to route shadowy funds from the world’s most dangerous and secretive corners, including Mexico, Iran, the Cayman Islands, Saudi Arabia and Syria.
The Senate probe detailed how sweeping the problems have been, both at the bank and at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, a top U.S. bank regulator which the report said failed to properly monitor HSBC.
‘The culture at HSBC was pervasively polluted for a long time,’ said Senator Carl Levin, chairman of the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, a Congressional watchdog panel.
The report comes at a troubling time for a banking industry reeling from a multi-country probe into the manipulation of global benchmark rates.
Last month, rival British bank Barclays Plc agreed to pay a $453 million fine to settle a U.S.- British probe into the rigging of the benchmark interest rate known as the London interbank offered rate, or Libor.