Wednesday December 12, 2012, 11:35 pm
Last I heard, HSBC was the world's second largest bank with offices in 78 countries and lord knows how many billions in assets under management. I worked for HSBC Bank Canada for 10 years and can tell you that there, compliance with money laundering regulations etc was a 'MUST'. But as with many debacles it seems, the people who suffer are the ones in the middle or the bottom of the food chain. Ms L Midzain, a Canadian solicitor working for the Bank and someone with whom I worked and had great respect for, was put in charge of Compliance for North America and has been hung out to dry by the Bank, when really it is executives higher up the ladder that should be hung out to dry — you know the ones, the policy and strategy makers. She was unceremoniously fired. What does it say when the Bank contends that "she wasn't qualified for the role", yet it was that very same bank that promoted her. This is not a bank that looks like it is taking responsibility for its own failures. Add to that, the senior executive of compliance in the UK was found responsible for lax oversight last July I believe and removed from his compliance role. He was not fired though.
When I think of the regulations and policies that I was subject to as a lower level compliance manager, I can only think that I, and others like me, were held to a higher standard than those at the executive level who actually made the policies and standards that I had to enforce. I can also tell you that at HSBC Bank Canada, there is an ongoing increase in compliance staff, the likes of which the compliance area has not seen before.
Because of the enormity of HSBC, I do have concerns about prosecuting the Bank and the economic chaos that could result. However I do not have the any concern about prosecuting the officers of the Bank, the policy and standard makers. They are the ones that have allowed this debacle to happen. I could also see such prosecution extending to board members if that were appropriate.
"The election of Elizabeth Warren, a powerful critic of big banks, to the Senate is a hopeful sign that in 2013 something may finally be done to rein in dangerous financial institutions."
Elizabeth is a ray of hope. The US needs to look at re-instating Glass-Steagall with updates if needed, and put in a range of regulation that will protect consumers, countries and economies. The trouble is, will the Republican/Teabaggers see this for what it is and support proper regulation of financial institutions, or will they fight it and probably defeat it and then in their next breath go on to whine about terrorist and their financing, and the drug cartels? I see the Republican/Teabaggers doing a lot of fighting and whining because they are getting big support bucks from the financial institutions.
And it isn't just HSBC. Think JP Morgan Chase, Citibank, Bank of America and others --- those so large that they think they are a law unto themselves.
Thursday December 13, 2012, 4:49 am
People working for HSBC laundered money. So we punish the bank? Who did it? Why are they not paying fines or going to jail? Obviously you prefer out of court legal settlements between government bodies & international companies when it goes wrong? Surely a world with fewer bad laws would be a richer and less corrupt place.
Thursday December 13, 2012, 12:41 pm
This is what our Founding Fathers fought against. The Monarchy IS NOT above the law. This is what Citizens United wants. and they got it. The 1% will be above the law. Then it will be the 2%,3%,ect. Bring back Washington and Jefferson!!!
Thursday December 13, 2012, 1:46 pm
Maggie, it won't go from 1% to 2% then 3% and so on, it will go from 1% to 0.1% then 0.01% and so on. Unfortunately. Bring back Washington and Jefferson indeed. Would that we could.
Thursday December 13, 2012, 5:44 pm
It just goes to show you that if you have money, privilege and power and are protected by the PTBs you can get away with anything. Glass-Steagall and quite a few other things need to be changed in America to level the playing field.
Thursday December 13, 2012, 10:21 pm
They should be held to justice for what they ( the banks ) are doing, they are bound by the same laws as the rest of us are they not, or are we living in an unjust world where one law for the lower classes and another for the big buisnesses and banks excetera, excetera. One law for all would be the way.
Saturday December 15, 2012, 4:08 pm
Noted. Thanks, Cal. Ditto what Gloria & Robert O. commented. Since the media reports this as a "sound byte" and gives it a 24-hr. cycle, we have to keep the momentum going with word of mouth to others who are unaware. Even sharing this article and others that are similar can have great impact....and I also ask those I share with to please share with others. Let's get it moving around!