Fed orders HSBC to step up anti-money laundering actions

7th October 2010, Comments 0 comments

The US central bank on Thursday ordered British bank HSBC, Europe's biggest bank, to step up actions against money laundering after a probe found violations of banking laws and rules.

The Federal Reserve announced a "cease and desist order" against HSBC North America Holdings that was agreed to by the US subsidiary of the London-headquartered bank.

The cease-and-desist order was issued "for violating the Bank Secrecy Act and its underlying regulations," the Fed said.

"The order requires HNAH to take corrective action to improve its firmwide compliance risk-management program," including efforts against money laundering.

HSBC North America Holdings owns and controls banks in McLean, Virginia; Wilmington, Delaware; Las Vegas, Nevada; and Miami, Florida, and a number of other nonbank subsidiaries.

HNAH said separately it had entered the consent order with the Fed, and its HSBC Bank USA subsidiary has entered into a consent order with the US Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

"These actions require improvements for an effective compliance risk management program across the company's US business, including Bank Secrecy Act and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) compliance," the holding company said in a statement.

"The bank notes that it has cooperated fully with its regulators in reaching these agreements and continues to cooperate fully with them in implementing the agreement terms, and with other government agency investigations," it said.

© 2010 AFP

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