Senate: HSBC Aided Cartels, Iran

    Pedestrians walk past HSBC signage outside the bank's Indian head office in Mumbai on August 2, 2011. Global banking giant HSBC will hire up to 15,000 people in emerging markets over the next three years, a spokeswoman said August 2, a day after it announced plans to slash 30,000 jobs worldwide.  AFP PHOTO/Indranil MUKHERJEE (Photo credit should read INDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP/Getty Images)

    Indranil Mukherjee, AFP / Getty Images

    HSBC, the largest bank in Europe, did not do nearly enough to prevent Iran, Mexican drug cartels, and firms with terrorist ties from laundering money through it, members of the U.S. Senate alleged on Monday. The Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations released a 335-page report pointing to a decade of lax security within the bank that granted criminals—and millions of their dollars—access to the U.S. financial system. In addition, Iran, North Korea, Cuba, Sudan, and Burma—all states that are restricted from trading in the U.S.—used HSBC to execute transactions in the states. In the case of Iran, records show that U.S. bankers were aware of the deals, which violated U.S. sanctions. “The failure of accountability here is dramatic,” said Sen. Carl Levin, head of the subcommittee.

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