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HSBC sets up financial crime compliance unit

Dec 10 2012 Steve Slater, Reuters

HSBC has promoted a former U.S. official who headed sanctions action against drugs traffickers and money launderers to be its head of financial crime compliance, a new role. Europe's biggest bank, expected to be fined $1.8 billion this week as part of a settlement with U.S. agencies over money-laundering lapses, named Bob Werner as head of group financial crime compliance and group money laundering reporting officer. HSBC also said on Monday it was separating financial crime compliance from other areas of compliance, and will set up a financial intelligence unit to carry out in-house investigations into potential regulatory breaches. In July, a U.S. Senate report criticised HSBC for letting clients shift potentially illicit funds from the Cayman Islands, Iran, Mexico, Saudi Arabia and Syria. Last month, HSBC set aside $1.5 billion to cover the potential fine. Chief Executive Stuart Gulliver said the issue had been shameful and embarrassing and caused "considerable reputational

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