Financial watchdog hits banking giant HSBC with an almost £64m fine for failings in anti-money laundering processes

The UK’s financial watchdog has hit banking giant HSBC with an almost £64 million fine for failings in its anti-money laundering processes.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has issued the punishment after finding “serious weaknesses” across HSBC’s automated systems used to monitor hundreds of millions of transactions a month to identify possible criminal activity.

It said the raft of failings – which were found over the eight years from March 2010 to March 2018 – included failures to consider whether the scenarios it used until 2014 to identify money laundering covered relevant risks.

Sign up to our Business newsletter

The regulator said HSBC did not dispute the findings and agreed to settle at the earliest opportunity.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has issued the punishment after finding “serious weaknesses” across HSBC’s automated systems used to monitor hundreds of millions of transactions a month to identify possible criminal activity.

Mark Steward, executive director of enforcement and market oversight at the FCA, said: “HSBC’s transaction monitoring systems were not effective for a prolonged period despite the issue being highlighted on numerous occasions.

“These failings are unacceptable and exposed the bank and community to avoidable risks, especially as the remediation took such a long time.

“HSBC continued their remediation to address these weaknesses after the relevant period.”

Read More

Read More
HSBC beats expectations as profits drop 34% to £6.2 billion

“As is well known, in 2012 HSBC initiated a large-scale remediation of its financial crime control capabilities.

“More recently, as the FCA recognised, HSBC has made significant investments in new and market-leading technologies that go beyond the traditional approach to transaction monitoring.

“HSBC is deeply committed to combating financial crime and protecting the integrity of the global financial system.”