British Bank Fined for Money Laundering in Argentina

Published: 13 June 2013


The local branch of the London-based Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited (HSBC) will be fined $1 million by Argentina’s financial crimes unit, InSightCrime reported Wednesday.

Investigators found weak money laundering controls at the bank. In one 2007 case, it failed to report a suspicious client who transferred 5 million pesos (about $941,530) into a bank account, then extracted the sum over the next month. The client involved had an officially declared monthly income of less than $3,000. The bank only reported the incident in 2010.

Criminal charges were filed against HSBC earlier this year by Argentina’s tax authority, which accused the bank of laundering up to $121 million and helping businesses evade taxes.

HSBC has repeatedly faced fines from Argentina’s financial crimes unit. The bank was fined $14 million last year for failure to report suspicious transactions in the country in 2008. Another $6 million fine followed in December 2012.

HSBC faced charges last year in the United States after information came out about its enabling Mexican drug cartels to launder profits. The Sinaloa Cartel was able to purchase equipment via HSBC bank accounts. The accusations concluded in a $1.9 billion settlement.