Senate Raps HSBC Over Lax Controls, Links to Money Laundering, Drug Money

The chief compliance officer of Britain’s HSBC Tuesday said he was stepping down from that position after an investigation found that lax controls at the international bank allowed Mexican drug cartels to launder billions of dollars through its U.S. operation and other illicit transactions.

But David Bagley, the head of compliance for London-based HSBC Holdings, told a Senate investigations panel that he will remain at HSBC.

Financial officials in Canada would not confirm or deny if there were any similar lapses or concerns in Canada.

“We never discuss the results of an examination or who we are examining,” said Peter Lamey, acting communications manager at the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada, which is Canada’s financial intelligence unit. He said that if an investigation finds deficiencies that invoke a penalty, FINTRAC sends out a release, but that HSBC had not been subject to any fines to date.

HSBC Canada did not have a comment specifically addressing its Canadian customers, but said in a news release issued by parent company HSBC Holdings that the company takes compliance with the law very seriously.

“We will acknowledge that, in the past, we have sometimes failed to meet the standards that regulators and customers expect,” the news release states.

“We will apologize, acknowledge these mistakes, answer for our actions and give our absolute commitment to fixing what went wrong.”

– Read the entire article at The Vancouver Sun.