Last week Argentina levied a $6 million fine on HSBC Bank Argentina SA for money laundering. This comes on the heels of last week’s announcement that HSBC would pay a record $1.92 billion fine to US authorities for laundering money for Mexican drug cartels. The latter decision left many wondering exactly what kind of crime a banker has to commit before he goes to jail.
In July 2011, First Niagara Financial Group announced that it would buy 195 retail bank branches in New York and Connecticut from HSBC for around $1 billion.  HSBC acquired the branches when it bought the spooky Marine Midland in 1980.
According to Global Finance, the UK-headquartered HSBC Holdings is the world’s 3rd largest bank with $2.36 trillion in assets.  Formerly known as Hong Kong Shanghai Bank Corporation, HSBC has served as the world’s #1 drug money laundry since its inception as a repository for British Crown opium proceeds accrued during the Chinese Opium Wars. During the Vietnam War HSBC laundered CIA heroin proceeds. Continue reading