John Christensen ■ HSBC, money-laundering and Swiss regulatory deterrence


SwagNumber-crunching, à la Private Eye: the case of HSBC and its Swiss fine for “organisational deficiencies” in relation to money-laundering.

  • $42.8 million     Fine imposed on HSBC by Geneva authorities for “organisational deficiencies” related to money-laundering uncovered in #SwissLeaks
  • 0.04%     Fine as a percentage of (revealed) assets under management
  • 0.00%     Likely deterrent effect

Not all the assets under management were laundered, of course. Far from it, we must hope. But the “organisational deficiencies” – including reassuring clients that no information would reach their home authorities, or using offshore accounts to circumvent disclosure requirements – represent risks that applied to the whole operation.

To put it another way, the fine is about a fifth of the £135 million in tax that HMRC recovered in the UK alone.

Even the prosecutor imposing the fine was embarrassed, and “launched a stinging attack” on the Swiss law that apparently prevented anything within yodeling distance of being a deterrent.

Cross-posted from Uncounted



Related articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.