The U.S. government is likely to file criminal charges related to money-laundering against HSBC Holdings, the international banking giant said in its third-quarter financial report.
London-based HSBC, Europe's largest bank, reported Monday that it set aside an additional $800 million to cover its liability in the case, bringing the total so far to $1.5 billion. The potential penalties could be "significantly higher," it said.
Banks have fallen under heightened scrutiny amid evidence they have been used to funnel funds to terrorists and process dirty money for drug lords.
Previous money-laundering settlements involved Wachovia Corp. of Charlotte, N.C., now part of Wells Fargo & Co., which paid $140 million in 2010 to settle a federal investigation. Britain's Standard Charter agreed this year to pay $340 million.