Once a staid financial institution with a focus on Asia, HSBC has found itself caught up in recent years in scandals involving predatory lending, tax evasion and the role its lax internal controls have played in helping drug traffickers and organizations said to be linked to terrorist groups. To resolve U.S. charges relating to the latter, HSBC had to pay out nearly $2 billion in penalties. In 2015 the bank came under fire again when leaked data on secret customer accounts led to new allegations that the bank was abetting tax evasion.
“Only low echelon drug dealers get caught with drug money in their hands. The elite – Drexel Burnham, Credite Suisse, Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank (HSBC) – escape detection… American Express was and still is a conduit for laundering drug money.”
John Coleman in his book “Conspirators’ Hierarchy: The Story of the Committee of 300”