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Restructuring after HSBC's $1.9 billion penalty is no substitute for well-resourced AML function, say officials

Dec 12 2012 Martin Coyle, Regulatory Intelligence

Anti-money laundering (AML) officials have given their guarded support to HSBC's move to hive off its financial crime unit from its compliance function following its record $1.92 billion U.S. fine and related UK enforcement action. They are in agreement, however, that there is no substitute for a well-resourced department with suitably skilled money laundering reporting officers (MLROs). In parallel to the huge U.S. settlement to end money laundering controls issues HSBC set out details of a revamp of its global group compliance and AML structures. Aside from a number of senior hires, including that of Bob Werner as head of group financial crime compliance and group MLRO, the bank is set to establish a global financial intelligence unit. As part of the reorganisation financial crime compliance will be separated from other areas of compliance. FSA orders remedial action Yesterday, the Financial Services Authority (FSA) added to the bank's woes by ordering it to establish an HSBC

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