United States Senator Charles Grassley (R - Iowa) and Bloomberg Contributing Editor Neil Barofsky talk with Bloomberg Law's Lee Pacchia about HSBC's recent settlement with US authorities over claims the bank engaged in money laundering for drug cartels and terrorist organizations. Senator Grassley is the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee.
In a letter to Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa complained that the Justice Department -- in accepting a $1.92 billion settlement in a money-laundering probe by federal and state authorities in the United States -- had not prosecuted a single HSBC employee, “no executives, no directors, no AML [anti-money laundering] compliance staff members, no one.”
“Even more concerning is the fact that the individuals responsible for these failures are not being held accountable,” he wrote. “By allowing these individuals to walk away without any real punishment, the department is declaring that crime actually does pay. Functionally, HSBC has quite literally purchased a get-out-of-jail-free card for its employees for the price of $1.92 billion dollars.”