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Fined HSBC told to hire anti-fraud officer

The FSA has set out new requirements for the bank after it was fined $1.9 billion in the US.

Fined HSBC told to hire anti-fraud officer

The City regulator has demanded that HSBC put in place an anti-money laundering officer after the bank was slapped with a $1.9 billion fine in the US.

The Financial Services Authority (FSA), which is lead regulator for the HSBC Group globally, has ordered the bank to make a number of changes in order to comply with anti-money laundering rules and sanctions from the US. 

Earlier today it was announced that the US Justice Department had charged the bank with failing to maintain an effective programme against money laundering and undertake due diligence on certain accounts. The bank was charged with violating sanctions laws by doing business with Libya, Sudan, Cuba, Iran and Burma, and fined $1.9 billion – the third time in the past decade that the bank has been fined for lax controls.

HSBC chief executive Stuart Gulliver apologised and said HSBC was now a ‘fundamentally different organisation from the one that made those mistakes’.

The FSA has not fined the bank but is now requiring the bank to establish a committee of board members that oversees anti-money laundering, sanctions, terrorist financing and proliferation financing.

A group money-laundering reporting officer must also be employed and placed on the FSA register who will have responsibility for ensuring the group is compliant with laws and regulations.

An independent money-laundering officer must also be put in place and report into the HSBC anti-money laundering committee and the regulator.

HSBC will now conduct a review of relevant group policies and procedures to ensure the company is operating within the anti-money laundering rules.

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