HSBC could be set to pay a penalty of $1.8 billion to US regulators for breaching anti-money laundering rules, it has emerged.
Insiders with knowledge on the matter have told Reuters that the major UK-based bank is set to enter into a deferred prosecution deal with federal prosecutors as early as next week.
Last month, HSBC revealed it has set aside some $1.5 billion to pay for the potential fines it will incur for breaking money laundering laws in Mexico and the bank has also admitted it could face criminal charges.
However, Jimmy Gurule, an ex-enforcement officer at the US Treasury, believes the only way to properly punish banks involved in such breaches is to indict individuals, as financial fines alone are not harsh enough.
"That would send a shockwave through the international finance services community. It would put the fear of God in bank officials that knowingly disregard the law," he noted.
By Gary Cooper