“ But some bankers claimed it was legal. One said it was because Mexican landscapers were working in the United States and then routing money back home to their families.” HeHeHeHe…. Jokes on the stupid gringos again!
WELLS FARGO HAS LONG BEEN THE BANKSTERS TO THE MEXICAN DRUG CARTELS.
WELLS FARGO and BANK of AMERICA ARE BOTH GENEROUS DONORS TO THE MEXICAN FASCIST PARTY of LA RAZA "THE RACE".
HSBC lax in preventing money laundering by cartels, terrorists
By James O'Toole @CNNMoneyJuly 16, 2012: 6:21 PM ET
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Global banking giant HSBC failed to prevent billions of dollars worth of money transfers that Senate investigators believe were linked to drug cartels and terrorist groups, according to a report released Monday.
The Senate's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations said London-based HSBC (HBC) failed to review thousands of suspicious transactions and properly vet clients over the past decade.
Among other issues, the report notes that in 2007 and 2008, HSBC's Mexico unit shipped $7 billion in cash to the bank's U.S. affiliate, a volume of shipments that law enforcement officials said could reach that size "only if they included illegal drug proceeds."
HSBC Mexico had a number of high-profile clients linked to drug trafficking, the report says, as well as "a huge backlog of accounts marked for closure due to suspicious activity, but whose closures were delayed."
The subcommittee also found that HSBC worked extensively with Saudi Arabia's Al Rajhi Bank, some owners of which have been linked to terrorism financing. Some evidence suggests Al Rajhi's "key founder" was "an early financial benefactor of al Qaeda," the report says.
HSBC's U.S. affiliate supplied Al Rajhi with nearly $1 billion worth of U.S. banknotes up to 2010, and also worked with two banks in Bangladesh that some evidence links to terrorism financing as well.
"From an oversight perspective, the failure of accountability here is dramatic," Sen. Carl Levin, chairman of the subcommittee, said Monday.
The Department of Justice is also investigating HSBC over the issue. A DOJ spokeswoman declined to comment, citing the ongoing probe.
The report comes ahead of a hearing by the Senate subcommittee Tuesday that will feature testimony from HSBC executives and government officials from the Treasury Department, the Department of Homeland Security and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.
The report also said HSBC's U.S. affiliate handled nearly 25,000 transactions involving Iran between 2001 and 2007, despite U.S. sanctions against the country. Other HSBC affiliates making transfers to the U.S. frequently stripped information from the transactions that linked them to Iran in order to evade scrutiny.
Some HSBC executives in the U.S. were aware of this practice as far back as 2001, the report says. An outside review commissioned by HSBC found nearly $20 billion worth of transactions between 2001 and 2007 that may have been subject to U.S. sanctions.
HSBC said in a statement ahead of the hearing that it "takes compliance with the law, wherever it operates, very seriously."
"We will acknowledge that, in the past, we have sometimes failed to meet the standards that regulators and customers expect," HSBC said. "We believe that this case history will provide important lessons for the whole industry in seeking to prevent illicit actors entering the global financial system."
The bank added that it has beefed up its compliance efforts over the past year, increasing its due diligence requirements for affiliates and devoting more resources to the issue.
0:00/2:27Bob Diamond bounced from Barclays
The Senate subcommittee noted that HSBC was "fully cooperative" with the investigation, providing documents from around the world beyond what was legally required.
HSBC isn't the first large bank to face scrutiny over money laundering issues from U.S. regulators and law enforcement.
Last month, Dutch bank ING agreed to pay a $619 million penalty for moving billions of dollars through the U.S. financial system at the behest of Cuban and Iranian clients, acts that violated economic sanctions.
In 2010, the former Wachovia Bank paid $160 million to resolve allegations that it lacked robust anti-money laundering measures, allowing Mexican cartels to launder millions of dollars worth of drug proceeds. Wells Fargo (WFC,Fortune 500) bought Wachovia in 2008.
HSBC is also being investigated in connection with alleged manipulation of the London Interbank Offered Rate, or Libor.
Last month, British bank Barclays (BCS) reached a $453 million settlement on the issue with U.S. and U.K. regulators, and firms including Deutsche Bank (DB), Credit Suisse (CS), Citigroup (C,Fortune 500) and JPMorgan (JPM,Fortune 500) are also being investigated.
First Published: July 16, 2012: 6:05 PM ET
NO PRESIDENT IN HISTORY HAS TAKEN MORE LOOT FROM CRIMINAL BANKSTERS THAN BARACK OBAMA! WHILE HIS DOJ IS OUT HARASSING LEGALS ON BEHALF OF OBAMA’S LA RAZA PARTY BASE OF ILLEGALS, THE BANKSTER GO UNPUNISHED!
DURING OBAMA’S FIRST TWO YEARS ALONE, HIS CRIMINAL BANKSTERS’ PROFITS SOARED GREATER THAN ALL EIGHT UNDER BUSH!
BANKSTERS’ PROFITS AND CRIMES ARE SOARING… so are foreclosures!
OBAMA and HIS CRIMINAL BANKSTERS – THE LOOTING OF A NATION CONTINUES!
Records show that four out of Obama's top five contributors are employees of financial industry giants - Goldman Sachs ($571,330), UBS AG ($364,806), JPMorgan Chase ($362,207) and Citigroup ($358,054).
Consider the Obama administration's choices for the four most important positions in financial sector law enforcement. The attorney general (Eric Holder) and the head of the Justice Department's criminal division (Lanny Breuer) both come to us from Covington & Burling, a law firm that represents and lobbies for most of the major banks and their industry associations; indeed Breuer was co-head of its white collar criminal defense practice, and represented the Moody's rating agency in the Enron case. Mary Schapiro, the head of the SEC, spent the housing bubble in charge of FINRA, the investment banking industry's "self-regulator," which gave her a $9 million severance for a job well done. And her head of enforcement, perhaps most stunningly of all, is Robert Khuzami, who was general counsel for Deutsche Bank's North American business during the entire bubble. So zero prosecutions isn't much of a surprise, really.
Banking Is a Criminal Industry Because Its Crimes Go Unpunished
Posted: 07/16/2012 8:23 am
Consider just thismonth's news in financial services.
First, Barclay's has been manipulating the Libor, the main interest rate upon which most other interest rates and financial transactions are based, since 2005. Moreover, Barclay's traders were colluding with traders in many other banks to assist them in manipulating the Libor too, so that they could all profit from their bets on it.
Second, JP Morgan Chase is having a really great month. Recent reports describe how it is resisting Federal subpoenas related to price-fixing in U.S. electricity markets. It is also accused (by former employees among others) of deliberately inflating the performance of its investment funds to obtain business. And finally, JP Morgan's failed "London whale" trade, which has now cost over $5 billion, is being investigated to determine whether the loss was initially concealed from regulators and the public.
Third, HSBC is paying a fine because it allowed hundreds of millions, perhaps billions, of dollars of money laundering by rogue states and sanctioned firms, including some related to terrorist activities and Iran's nuclear efforts. But HSBC is only one of at least 12 banks now known to have tolerated, and in some cases aggressively courted, money laundering by rogue states, terrorist organizations, corrupt dictators, and major drug cartels over the last decade. Others include Barclay's, Lloyds, Credit Suisse, and Wachovia (now part of Wells Fargo). Several of the banks created special handbooks on how to evade surveillance, created special business units to handle money laundering, and actively suppressed whistleblowers who warned of drug cartel activities.
Fourth, a new private lawsuit cites documents indicating that Morgan Stanley successfully pressured rating agencies into inflating the ratings of mortgage-backed securities it issued during the housing bubble.
Fifth, Visa and Mastercard have just agreed to pay $7 billion to settle a private antitrust case filed by thousands of merchants, who alleged that Visa and Mastercard colluded to fix fees and terms of service.
Just another month in financial services. Is it unusual? No, it's not. If we go back just a little further, we have UBS, HSBC, Julius Baer, and other banks actively marketing tax evasion services to wealthy U.S. and European citizens. We have senior executives of several banks (including JP Morgan Chase and UBS) strongly suspecting that Bernard Madoff was running a Ponzi scheme, but deciding to make money from him rather than turn him in. And then, of course, we have the financial crisis and everything that led to it. As I show in great detail in my book Predator Nation, we now possess overwhelming evidence of massive securities fraud, accounting fraud, perjury, and criminal Sarbanes-Oxley violations by mortgage lenders, investment banks, and credit insurers (including senior executives of Countrywide, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Bear Stearns, AIG, and Lehman Brothers) during the housing bubble that caused the financial crisis. If we go back to the late 1990s, we have the massively fraudulent hyping of Internet stocks, and several banks (including Merrill Lynch and Citigroup) actively aiding Enron in committing its frauds.
So, July 2012 really isn't abnormal at all. The reason for this is very simple. Over the past two decades, the financial services industry has become a pervasively unethical and highly criminal industry, with massive fraud tolerated or even encouraged by senior management. But how did that happen?
Well, deregulation helped, of course. But something else was far more important. It is the one critical factor that unites all of the episodes cited above, including those of this month. This critical unifying factor is the total number of criminal prosecutions of major firms and senior executives as a result of all of these crimes combined.
And what is that number?
Literally zero. A number that neither President Obama nor Mitt Romney shows the slightest interest in changing.
Consider the Obama administration's choices for the four most important positions in financial sector law enforcement. The attorney general (Eric Holder) and the head of the Justice Department's criminal division (Lanny Breuer) both come to us from Covington & Burling, a law firm that represents and lobbies for most of the major banks and their industry associations; indeed Breuer was co-head of its white collar criminal defense practice, and represented the Moody's rating agency in the Enron case. Mary Schapiro, the head of the SEC, spent the housing bubble in charge of FINRA, the investment banking industry's "self-regulator," which gave her a $9 million severance for a job well done. And her head of enforcement, perhaps most stunningly of all, is Robert Khuzami, who was general counselfor Deutsche Bank's North American business during the entire bubble. So zero prosecutions isn't much of a surprise, really.
In contrast, what do you think would happen to you if, as a lone individual, you were caught supporting Iran's nuclear program? Do you think that you would get off with a "deferred prosecution agreement" and a fine equal to a few percent of your annual salary? No?
But that's because you don't live right. You probably haven't been to the White House a dozen times since President Obama took office, or attended White House state dinners, like Lloyd Blankfein has. Nor have you probably overseen millions of dollars in lobbying and campaign donations, or hired senior administration officials, or sent your executives into the government in senior regulatory positions, or paid $135,000 for a speech by someone who later became chairman of the National Economic Council. And, well, you get the law enforcement that you pay for.
Charles Ferguson is the author of Predator Nation: Corporate Criminals, Political Corruption, and the Hijacking of America.
U.S. Senate panel accuses HSBC in money-laundering report
By Carrick Mollenkamp
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A "pervasively polluted" culture at HSBC Holdings Plc allowed the bank to act as financier to clients seeking to route shadowy funds from the world's most dangerous and secretive corners, including Mexico, Iran, the Cayman Islands, Saudi Arabia and Syria, according to a scathing U.S. Senate report issued on Monday.
While the big British bank's problems have been known for nearly a decade, the Senate probe detailed just how sweeping the problems have been, both at the bank and at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, a top U.S. bank regulator which the report said failed to properly monitor HSBC.
"The culture at HSBC was pervasively polluted for a long time," said Senator Carl Levin, chairman of the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, a Congressional watchdog panel.
The report comes at a troubling time for a banking industry reeling from a multi-country probe into the manipulation of global benchmark rates. Last month, rival British bank Barclays Plc agreed to pay a $453 million fine to settle a U.S.-U.K. probe into the rigging of the benchmark interest rate known as the London interbank offered rate, or Libor.
The report caps a year-long inquiry that included a review of 1.4 million documents and interviews with 75 HSBC officials and bank regulators. It will be the focus of a hearing on Tuesday at which HSBC and OCC officials are scheduled to testify.
The report described an HSBC compliance division simply unable to battle the suspect money. High turnover of top compliance officials made it difficult for any reform to take hold, the Senate report said. Employees were "overwhelmed," swamped by mounting suspect transactions that needed review.
"We're strapped and getting behind in investigations," one bank official wrote in June 2008. By that time, HSBC was cutting costs to offset losses tied to subprime home loans and the brewing financial crisis. In 2010, one disgusted top compliance official threw up his hands and quit after less than a year on the job, according to the report.
Typical of the problems inside the bank were transactions tied to Mexico, a country the report said is "under siege from drug crime, violence and money laundering." HSBC, according to the report, helped move money for a foreign-exchange dealer called Casa de Cambio Puebla that U.S. authorities have connected to illegal narcotic funds.
Between 2005 and 2007, there was a "growing flood" of U.S. dollars moving between the exchange house and HSBC, setting off red flags. But some bankers claimed it was legal. One said it was because Mexican landscapers were working in the United States and then routing money back home to their families.