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Influential U.S. senators express divergent views on HSBC settlement

Dec 14 2012 Brett Wolf, Compliance Complete

Two U.S. senators who have partnered over the years to toughen the country's money laundering laws have issued conflicting statements on the appropriateness of the $1.92 billion settlement U.S. law enforcement agencies entered into with HSBC over the British bank's anti-money laundering failures and sanctions violations. During the 2000s, HSBC's failure to properly screen its transactions allowed drug cartels to launder at least $881 million and permitted sanctioned entities in Iran and elsewhere to move money around the world. On Tuesday, shortly after the settlement was announced, Senator Carl Levin, a Michigan Democrat who chairs the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations -- and was the driving force being a scathing report on HSBC issued in July -- issued a statement suggesting the settlement "shows the value of congressional oversight in exposing wrongdoing." "The HSBC settlement sends a powerful wake-up call to multinational banks about the consequences of disregarding

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