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Banking giant HSBC to pay £1.2bn to settle U.S. probe into money-laundering for Mexican drug cartels

December 11, 2012
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Source: UK Daily Mai

British banking giant HSBC will pay £1.2billion ($1.9billion) to settle a money-laundering probe by federal and state authorities in the United States, a law enforcement official said on Monday.

The probe of the bank – Europe’s largest by market value – has focused on the transfer of billions of dollars on behalf of nations like Iran and North Korea, which are under international sanctions, and the transfer of money through the U.S. financial system from Mexican drug cartels.

According to the official, HSBC will pay £777million ($1.25billion) in forfeiture and pay £407million ($655million) in civil penalties.

The £777million figure is the largest forfeiture ever in a case involving a bank.

Under what is known as a deferred prosecution agreement, the financial institution will be accused of violating the Bank Secrecy Act and the Trading With The Enemy Act.

The London-based bank said it is cooperating with investigations but that those discussions are confidential.

Last month it announced it had set aside £933million ($1.5billion) to cover the costs of any settlement or fines.

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