HSBC fights to stop money-laundering report going public

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January 14 2016

Bank fined £1.32bn in 2012 argues that legal attempt to release government report would help criminals bypass safeguards.

HSBC is trying to prevent publication of a report on how it complies with money-laundering rules imposed on it by the US authorities in 2012, when it was fined a record $1.9bn (£1.32bn).

The bank is arguing in US courts that it could be left vulnerable to money laundering if the report is published.

Under the terms of a deferred prosecution agreement with US authorities, made when it was fined for aiding money laundering by Mexican drug cartels, HSBC must be subjected to regular audits about its internal capacity to seek out potentially suspect activity by customers.

A private individual, Hubert Dean Moore, who used to have a mortgage with HSBC, is suing to have the monitor’s first annual report unsealed by the court. He is being resisted not only by the bank but also by the US Department of Justice.