Business, Economics and Jobs

HSBC Mexico pays $27.5M fine over money laundering


A US Senate committee found HSBC had laundered money for 'drug kingpins and rogue nations' around the world.

GUADALAJARA, Mexico – Mexico has slapped HSBC with a $27.5 million fine for failing to prevent money laundering through its accounts even after the British bank was warned about suspicious transactions on a number of occasions.

The National Securities and Banking Commission said HSBC Mexico had paid the fine, which was the largest ever levied by the banking regulator, Bloomberg reported.

A US Senate committee investigation found HSBC Mexico transferred about $7 billion in cash to the United States in 2007 and 2008.

"Bulk cash shipments could reach that volume only if they included illegal drug proceeds," the committee said in a damning report released last week, which also found HSBC had laundered money for “drug kingpins and rogue nations” around the world.

More from GlobalPost: HSBC 'allowed drug money laundering', says US Senate

According to the Associated Press, HSBC Mexico was handling most of the dollar cash transfers from Mexico to the United States in the mid-2000s, even though it was not a major player in the country at that time.

HSBC Mexico was fined for "non-compliance with anti-money laundering systems and controls,” Reuters said.

HSBC has apologized for its lax controls and David Bagley, head of group compliance, has resigned.

Europe's largest bank posted a net income last year of $16.8 billion. It operates in about 80 countries with assets of $210 billion in its US operations.