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HSBC hires U.S. expert on drug cartels to head new board "vulnerabilities committee"

Jan 30 2013 Steve Slater, Reuters

HSBC is hiring a former U.S. deputy attorney general with a background in fighting drug cartels to help the global bank avoid a repeat of lapses in its anti-money-laundering controls that led to a $1.9 billion fine. The penalty, the largest ever paid by a bank, followed a long U.S. investigation into HSBC's Mexican and U.S. operations that concluded last month with scathing criticism of the systems it used to stop the proceeds of organised crime passing through its accounts. Jim Comey, who was U.S. deputy attorney general from 2003 to 2005, will join Europe's biggest bank as a non-executive director in March and will be a member of a new board committee to combat financial crime. As U.S. attorney for the southern district of New York from 2002 to 2003, Comey set up a specialised unit to prosecute international drug cartels and supervised the prosecution of executives on fraud and securities-related charges. He will be joined by two other non-executives - Rona Fairhead

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