Yesterday, Europe’s largest bank, HSBC, announced that it will pay $1.9 billion (£1.2 billion) to settle allegations that it laundered money for drugs cartels, terrorists and pariah states. During approximately the same period that HSBC failed to check whether the dollars it was shipping from Mexico to the USwere drugs money, 47,000 people died at the hands of Mexican drugs traffickers.
“Fines alone are not going to change banks’ behaviour: the chances of being caught are relatively small and the potential profits from accepting dodgy clients are too big. Fines are seen as a cost of doing business,” said Rosie Sharpe, campaigner at Global Witness.
“Instead, regulators should hold senior bankers legally responsible for their banks’ money laundering performance. At the very least, senior bankers should be prevented from working in the industry, akin to the way in which doctors can be struck off. Bonuses should be clawed back, and, in the most serious cases, senior bankers should face jail,” said Sharpe.
The allegation isn\’t that they laundered money. It\’s that they didn\’t fill in the forms properly to prove that they weren\’t laundering money.
Ritchie agrees that such bankers should be jailed of course.
That\’s the Courageous State for you, go to jail for not filling in the forms.