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HSBC confirms $1.92-billion settlement in money-laundering probe

December 11, 2012|By Andrew Tangel
  • British banking giant HSBC has agreed to settle a U.S. money-laundering probe for $1.92 billion.
British banking giant HSBC has agreed to settle a U.S. money-laundering… (Facundo Arrizabalaga /…)

NEW YORK -- British banking giant HSBC will pay $1.92 billion to settle a wide-ranging investigation by U.S. authorities into money laundering at the bank.

In a deferred prosecution agreement, confirmed by the bank Tuesday, HSBC will undergo independent monitoring for five years as it puts in place safeguards to make sure it does not again become a conduit for illicit transactions.

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HSBC said the agreement, which the U.S. Department of Justice had yet to formally announce early Tuesday, noted the bank had "provided valuable assistance to law enforcement," providing information and employees for interviews.

"We accept responsibility for our past mistakes," Stuart Gulliver, HSBC's chief executive, said in a statement. "We have said we are profoundly sorry for them, and we do so again. The HSBC of today is a fundamentally different organization from the one that made those mistakes."

A deferred prosecution agreement is a less severe punishment than criminal charges.

The bank struck agreements with a host of U.S. agencies: the U.S. Treasury, Federal Reserve, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Manhattan district attorney's office.

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