Friday, December 14, 2012

In the News: A Look at Money Laundering Settlements Since 2009

by The Associated Press

British banking giant HSBC will pay a record $1.9 billion to settle a money-laundering probe by U.S. federal and state authorities, a law enforcement official said Monday. The probe of Europe's largest bank by market value has focused on the transfer of billions of dollars on behalf of nations such as Iran, which are under international sanctions, and the transfer of money through the U.S. financial system from Mexican drug cartels. Since 2009, several European banks have paid heavy settlements related to allegations they moved money for people or companies on the U.S. sanctions list.

Credit Suisse, Switzerland's second-largest bank, agreed to pay $536 million. The authorities said the bank violated U.S. economic sanctions by hiding the booming illegal business it was doing for Iranian banks.

Barclays paid $298 million. The big British bank allegedly engaged in $500 million in illegal transactions with banks in Cuba, Iran, Libya, Sudan and Myanmar for more than a decade.

Lloyds, another major British bank, agreed to forfeit $350 million for allegedly helping customers skirt U.S. sanctions on business transactions with Sudan, Iran and Libya.

— Dutch bank ING paid $619 million to settle charges that it secretly moved billions of dollars through the U.S. financial system on behalf of Cuban and Iranian customers.

Royal Bank of Scotland paid $500 million for alleged money laundering at Dutch bank ABN Amro for customers from Iran, Libya, Cuba, the Sudan and other countries subject to U.S. sanctions. ABN Amro was bought in 2007 by a RBS-led consortium.

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