Feb 11, 2016

    HSBC sued over Mexico drug cartel murders

    HSBC has been sued by the families of American citizens murdered by drug gangs in Mexico, claiming the bank let cartels launder billions of dollars to operate their business.

    The lawsuit alleges that by participating in the money-laundering scheme of the cartels, HSBC knowingly contributed directly to the international drug and trafficking trade, including the "brutal acts" that accompanied it, during the period 2010 to 2011.

    The London-based bank, which was already being monitored for involvement in money-laundering schemes, had paid nearly US$2 billion (S$2.7 billion) in penalties in December 2012.

    That was to resolve charges that it had failed to stop hundreds of millions of dollars in drug money from flowing through the bank from Mexico. HSBC had promised to fix the problems.

    The US government had chosen former New York prosecutor Michael Cherkasky to monitor HSBC's compliance remediation efforts.

    His reports have cited issues with the bank's progress to date.

    HSBC was unavailable for comment outside regular US business hours.