HSBC’s South African operations fined for AML breaches

South Africa’s Prudential Authority has imposed a 15 million rand (US$1.1 million) fine on the local operations of London-based HSBC for anti-money laundering (AML) programme failures.

The fine may be halved if the bank acts swiftly to remedy several AML failures.

AML weaknesses

The regulator said sanctions had been imposed on the bank “because certain weaknesses were identified in HSBC’s processes,” according to a statement by the authority.

This inhibited HSBC from proactively detecting potential money laundering and the financing of terrorism, the Prudential Authority said, although it added that it had not identified actual evidence of financial crimes.

The Prudential Authority monitors financial institutions as part of South Africa’s Reserve Bank.

Money laundering concerns

The fine imposed on HSBC’s South African operations is a fraction of the US$1.9 billion the bank paid in 2012 to US federal regulators and investigators in a deferred prosecution agreement.

That agreement was reached after HSBC was accused of moving US$7 billion in drug proceeds to the US in 2007 and 2008, mainly through its Mexican affiliate.

Categories: Trade Based Financial crimes News

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