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British multinational bank HSBC pays US authorities $1.92 billion in fines for its poor implementation of money laundering controls.
A multi-year investigation by the US Senate found the bank's monitoring system for suspicious transactions to be lax and insufficient. According to the Senate's report, HSBC did not perform special monitoring procedures to examine its Mexican affiliate, despite a high risk of money laundering due to the country's involvement in drug trafficking and other criminal activities.
HSBC Group Chief Executive Stuart Gulliver has said the bank accepts "responsibility for [...] past mistakes".
In addition to paying the largest penalty by a bank thus far, HSBC has committed $290 million to improve its monitoring and control systems, which was done in full cooperation with regulatory and law enforcement authorities. The bank has also created a new Financial Crimes Compliance division and appointed a former US official as the division's director.
US prosecutors agreed to forgo prosecution following HSBC's settlement payment and its official commitment to implement better monitoring procedures.