Feds order HSBC to boost money-laundering controls

Eileen AJ Connelly

NEW YORK — Federal regulators on Thursday said HSBC North America Holdings Inc. has been ordered to improve its compliance with money laundering laws.

A federal investigation found the U.S. subsidiaries of the London-based HSBC Holdings PLC do not have tight enough controls over a list of money transfer operations.

“The bank’s compliance program and its implementation are ineffective, and accompanied by aggravating factors, such as highly suspicious activity creating a significant potential for unreported money laundering or terrorist financing,” the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency said in a consent order entered into by HSBC.

HSBC signed consent orders with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and Federal Reserve that lay out strict timetables fixing the problems identified, and bring itself into compliance with the Bank Secrecy Act and other anti-money laundering measures. That includes requirements to hire individuals to fill certain jobs in as little as 10 days.

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