HSBC faces $1.5bn US fine blow
London, November 6, 2012
A US fine for anti-money laundering rule breaches could cost HSBC significantly more than $1.5 billion and is likely to lead to criminal charges, said the Europe's biggest bank.
HSBC said the US investigation had damaged the bank's reputation and forced it to set aside a further $800 million to cover a potential fine for breaches in anti-money laundering controls in Mexico, adding to $700 million put aside in July.
"It could be significantly higher," chief executive Stuart Gulliver said, adding that the latest provision was based on discussions with the various US authorities involved in the probe.
The timing of any settlement is in the hands of regulators and is likely to involve the filing of corporate criminal and civil charges, the bank said.
HSBC reported an underlying profit - after stripping out the impact of disposals and changes in the value of its own debt - in the July-September quarter of $5 billion, up from a revised $2.2 billion a year earlier.-Reuters