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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