HSBC might pay a fine of $1.8 billion as part of a settlement with US law-enforcement agencies over money-laundering lapses, Reuters reported, citing unnamed sources. Meanwhile, Standard Chartered said it expects to pay $330 million to settle with US regulators over failing to comply with anti-Iran sanctions.
A settlement could be announced as soon as next week. It will probably involve the bank entering a deferred prosecution agreement with federal prosecutors, said the sources. The potential settlement would be a test case for just how big a signal US prosecutors want to send to try to halt illicit flows of money moving through US banks.
A spokesperson for HSBC was quoted as saying: "We are cooperating with authorities in ongoing investigations. The nature of discussions is confidential."
On November 5, the bank said it had set aside $1.5 billion to cover a potential fine for breaching anti-money laundering controls in Mexico and other places.