London: British banking giant HSBC is likely to pay over 1.5billion dollars in fines to US authorities in a bid to settle money-laundering investigations into its business.
According to reports, the bank could be fined the sum as early as next week as part of a settlement with federal prosecutors.
HSBC has put aside 1.5 billion dollars to meet the cost of the fines, but admitted at its latest results presentation that the eventual penalty could be “significantly higher” and that it could face criminal charges.
Various reports put the likely size of the fine at 1.8 billion dollars, the Telegraph reports.
According to the paper, the fines relate to an investigation of HSBC’s US and Mexican operations that found the bank had allegedly ignored warnings that billions of dollars of funds being moved between the two subsidiaries were linked to drug trafficking.
A Senate committee described the bank as “pervasively polluted for a long time,” the paper said.
It highlighted what it said were lax controls and inadequate compliance by staff as the bank was accused of handling transactions involving terrorists, drug lords and rogue regimes, it added.
First Published: Friday, December 7, 2012, 17:39