British Bank HSBC is facing reports the international bank laundered billions of narco dollars through its U.S. banking network. The allegations surfaced after a Justice Department investigation and during a U.S. Senate hearing this week that faulted poor controls allowing Mexican drug cartels to launder their money.
The report, released on Tuesday, focused on illicit transactions that persisted for seven years according to the Senate investigation panel. The Department of Justice opened up an investigation on the international bank last year. The focus of the report was on transactions from 2002, when HSBC had acquired a Mexican division, through 2009.
Thus far the bank’s chief compliance officer has resigned amid the allegations.
The international bank, operating in about 80 countries, has assured regulators that it has tightened up its policies to prevent this from happening again. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that HSBC and the Justice Department have been in settlement talks with fines for its violation of U.S. anti-money laundering laws.