Congress criticises HSBC over money-laundering

MISLED CONGRESS: Former US Attorney General Eric Holder. MISLED CONGRESS: Former US Attorney General Eric Holder.

THOSE who believe in the conspiracy theories of world control by such groups as the Bilderberg Group or the Illuminati will have a field day with the revelation that the US Government decided not to prosecute the international bank HSBC for alleged money-laundering in 2012 for fear of starting a ‘global financial disaster.’

Currently no officials appear prepared to confirm or deny this assertion made in a US Congressional report which highlights the fact that HSBC was guilty of contravening US sanctions by working with customers in Burma, Cuba, Iran and Libya but this was not as damning as the fact that it was also reportedly involved in ‘washing’ $881 million (€794 million) on behalf of Colombian and Mexican drug cartels.

The report suggests that the Chancellor of the Exchequer brought a great deal of pressure to bear on the US regulators to persuade them not to take legal action against the bank as it might have ‘very serious implications for financial and economic stability, particularly in Europe and Asia.’

In addition, Mr Osborne is accused of hampering the American enquiries in order to protect this important UK based bank with its headquarters in London. The US authorities are also criticised for making a deal with the bank allowing it to pay a fine of $1.92 billion (€1.73 billion) and face no charges, when the report believes that the former US Attorney General Eric Holder not only misled Congress about the decision, but also ignored suggestions by junior staff that there was a significant case to answer.

Arguably it was always a delicate decision to make when considering that should HSBC have been prosecuted and found guilty, it would have lost its banking licence in the USA and the British Government must have seen this as a terrible threat to the global economy.

Perhaps the fact that HSBC has indicated that it will keep its head office in the UK is a reward to the government for services rendered, although the fact is that this unsavoury piece of news is hardly likely to be beneficial to the reputation of the bank or Mr Osborne.

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