HSBC Gets Slap On The Wrist For Helping To Finance Terrorists

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Michael Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

The “Too Big Too Jail” nonsense that surrounds large U.S. banks and their above the law employees has been glaringly obvious and thoroughly documented for quite some time now. Yet what represents an even larger slap in the face to millions of hard-working, law-abiding citizens, is how relentlessly the “justice” system goes after small time criminals, while merely fining oligarch thieves for far worse crimes. I first covered this theme earlier this year in my piece Some Money Launderers are “More Equal” than Others, which discussed how HSBC was caught laundering billions of dollars for Mexican drug cartels.

Well HSBC is back in the news. This time it relates to their transferring funds on the behalf of financiers for the militant group Hezbollah. If transactions such as these had even the slightest link to Bitcoin, there would be endless uproar, calls for countless Congressional hearings and demands to stop the currency at all costs. But when HSBC is caught doing it, what happens? A $32,400 settlement.

More from The Huffington Post:

A major U.S. bank has agreed to a settlement for transferring funds on the behalf of financiers for the militant group Hezbollah, the Treasury Department announced on Tuesday.


Concluding that HSBC’s actions “were not the result of willful or reckless conduct,” Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control accepted a $32,400 settlement from the bank. Treasury noted, as did HSBC in a statement to HuffPost, that the violations were voluntarily reported.


Everett Stern, a former HSBC compliance officer who complained to his supervisors about the Hezbollah-linked transactions, told HuffPost he was “ecstatic and depressed at the same time.”


“Those are my transactions, I reported them,” he said, satisfied that the government was taking action. But, he added, “Where I am upset was those were a handful of transactions, and I saw hundreds of millions of dollars” being transferred.


Stern said he hopes the government’s enforcement actions against HSBC have not come to an end with the latest settlement. “They admit to financing terrorism and they get fined $32,000. Where if I were to do that, I would go to jail for life,” he said.


And the government watchdog’s claim that HSBC committed no “substantially similar apparent violations” in the past five years is likely to raise some eyebrows. In December 2012, the bank agreed to pay a $1.9 billion settlement for moving money that a 2012 Senate report found had likely helped drug cartels and a Saudi Arabian bank the CIA has linked to al Qaeda.


No one at HSBC was criminally charged for what U.S. Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer called at the time ”stunning failures of oversight.” The Senate report faulted the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, an independent bureau with the Treasury Department, for weak oversight of HSBC.

You know you are a Banana Republic if…

Full article here.

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Sudden Debt's picture

I used to care about shit like this but I take pills against that now...

Pladizow's picture

“When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a Moral code that glorifies it." - Frederic Bastiat.

“The issue which has swept down the centuries and which will have to be fought sooner or later is the people versus the banks.” - Lord Acton 1834-1902

CH1's picture

+ 5 for quoting Bastiat and Acton!

Pladizow's picture

How about this combo:

“Where you have a concentration of power in a few hands, all too frequently men with the mentality of gangsters get control.” – Lord Acton

“They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying to get what they want. Well, we know what they want; they want more for themselves and less for everybody else. But I’ll tell you what they don’t want—they don’t want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don’t want well informed, well educated people capable of critical thinking. They’re not interested in that. That doesn’t help them. That’s against their interest. You know something, they don’t want people that are smart enough to sit around their kitchen table and figure out how badly they’re getting fucked by a system that threw them overboard 30 fucking years ago. Because the owners of this country know the truth, it’s called the American Dream, because you have to be asleep to believe it.” George Carlin

When misguided public opinion honors what is despicable and despises what is honorable, punishes virtue and rewards vice, encourages what is harmful and discourages what is useful, applauds falsehood and smothers truth under indifference or insult, a nation turns its back on progress and can be restored only by the terrible lessons of catastrophe.” –Frederic Bastiat

Manthong's picture

"We get too soon old and too late smart"  -old proverb on gp's kitchen wall.

"The real owners are the big wealthy business interests that control things and ... They want your fucking retirement money. ... It's a big club, and you ain't in it."

 -G. Carlin

XitSam's picture

Based on his outrage, Michael Krieger seems to think there is still such a thing as justice.

Deo vindice's picture

For real entertainment value, Hezbollah should decide to do its transactions in Bitcoin. That should make the banks and U.S. government go apoplectic.

Stackers's picture

And what do you expect from a bank that was founded with the sole purpose of laundering illegal opiuim drug running profits ?

Kobe Beef's picture

...and once it's clean, you can funnel it to a large number of politicians, parties, judges, officials, and influential persons.

HSBC is organized crime. Unfortunately, so is our government.

Ghordius's picture

+1 btw, HSBC is a British megabank, listed in London (with secundary listings nearly everywhere). one of those who would hate to be regulated by any eurozone authority. they lobbied hard for EuroBonds, though, and staged several speculative attacks on eurozone sovereigns, of which some backfired quite badly

megabanks should attach a pirate skull & bones to their logos, at this point

smacker's picture

HSBC started life in Hong Kong (on the Island).

It only became a "British" megabank when HK was handed back to China and it moved its global HQ to London. I saw this as HSBC protecting itself from the risk of being nationalised by the Chinese.

There's been a lot of speculation that HSBC will relocate itself back to HK or possibly Singapore. I believe the latter is more likely. This may be why it's soon going to float its UK subsidiary.

Winston Churchill's picture

Iused to drink.

Unfortunately ,the world is still full of arseholes when you get sober.

Manthong's picture

solution..  do not sober up?

make critical decisions whilst delerious.. like most politicians

CH1's picture

Members of the cartel are approved for money laundering.

Free market money... not so much.

Zero Point's picture

Hardened, career criminals.

In suits.

slotmouth's picture

The current FBI Director was on the board of directors for HSBC at the time. 

Winston Churchill's picture

Only $34000.

Going to have one less hooker at the Xmas party.

jubber's picture

Hang the fuckers

buzzsaw99's picture

i heard that jpm & iran are thick as thieves

Seize Mars's picture

HSBC = British Royals.
Any questions?

The Abstraction of Justice's picture

HSBC was founded by David Sassoon's opium business, and my guess that it is his dynasty, now merged with the Rothschilds, that is still in control of it today.


HSBC is owned by the same people who own the Royal arses.

chemystical's picture

Spot on.  Arthur Sassoon was Leopold de Rothschild's brother-in-law btw (gotta keep it in the family/tribe),

Kinda also sorta helps to explain Mossad's omnipresence in Columbia and Peru.  They provide security for Jewish-controlled corporations - United Brands being a prime example - that smuggle cocaine.  They also murder any law enforcement, politicians, and nuns who got in the way.  Ofc in the USA the DEA and CIA take over after the drugs cross the border, but the proceeds still move through the same banks.

Kinda sort helps to explain state-sponsored mfr and global trafficking of Ecstasy by ISR.

Wait, and what happened to the production of opium in AFG after the Talliban took over?  Oh, it plummeted, but when the good ol' US of A took control and had it's military protect the fields and production and transport, well, imagine's back up to record production.

Same as it ever was.  Religion might be the opium of the people, but "opium" is the religion of the PTB.

Shizzmoney's picture

For big banks, War is *the* ultimate hedge.

yogibear's picture

Just a fee for doing criminal activities.

Nobody goes to jail anymore because  the criminals are running the game.

new game's picture

not to be a broken record-but only solution is violent...

\no other outcome except very bad for majority, as history shall bear.

keep an eye on that 2nd amendment...

madbraz's picture

HSBC is not a US bank.

max2205's picture

I know...right?  We should be giving them compensation instead....oh wait

Bunga Bunga's picture

If it was a foreigner caught on US soil he would get many many years in jail.

The Abstraction of Justice's picture

Well it could be worse, they could have been funding Mossad. Oh wait, they are Mossad.

Ribeye's picture

yet again, this is complete "Obey the Empire" stuff, 


i'm neither a fan of HSBC or Hezbollah, but who the fck are the US to tell foreign banks who they may, or may not, process payments for......


the US govt is the biggest and most vicious gang of terrorists on the face of the earth, by a country mile.....


chemystical's picture

"i'm neither a fan of HSBC or Hezbollah, but who the fck are the US to tell foreign banks who they may, or may not, process payments for......?"

Pure theater.  A Jewish bank is moving money for an organization that putatively threatens ISR?  And the US of A funds and provides logistics (and nerve gas?) to Al Quaeda in SYR...whilst putatively conducting a War on Terrorism and naming Al Quaeda as terrorists.

Two choices come quickly to mind:

1) The best way to control the opposition is to lead it (and/or fund it, etc)

2) Orwell's 1984 and Gilliam's Brazil and Moore's V for Vendetta where the perpetual war against terrorists turn out to be frauds where the terrorists are the govt.

As # 2 encompasses # 1, and as we see example after example of # 2, I'll go with 2.


azengrcat's picture

Accountability at the top, unless it is bad lol wtf why would I want the CEO job if I could not deflect the bad shit... 

chemystical's picture

"If transactions such as these had even the slightest link to Bitcoin, there would be endless uproar, calls for countless Congressional hearings"

And if Btc was being used to tranfer funds to the IDF, Mossad, and Shin Bet to assist in the white phosphorous immolation of Palestinean children, the sniper murder of the press who attempt to report it, the bombing of UN observation outposts, crushing American citizens with bulldozers, etc, it would be subsidized by Congress.  No, better yet, it would be called....the USD.

Bunga Bunga's picture

It's already a great tool for undercover operations.

mydogisprettierthanyou's picture

Im confused. Did they pay 1.9bil or 32k?

CuttingEdge's picture

So how much will the CIA get fined for supplying Al Ciaida in Syria?

Measured in that context I'm fine with 32k.

tony wilson's picture

the hezbollah are not terrorists.

thank god because they are really pretty good fighters just ask israel ask the idf.

ask them about the merkva tanks going bang bang during a nasty fire fight.

they kicked the cia,mossad,sas,mi6,saudi and filthy turk in syria.

they kill the followers of cia agent osama bin laden.

in fact they want peace they sure would make a better recipients for the corrupt nobel peace prize.

Overfed's picture

Yep. Hezbollah are fighting against the the CIA-backed Al-Qaeda in Syria. I guess the real question is: who is sending them $$?

are we there yet's picture

I do not recall ever seeing an arab organization that was not somehow coopted as a terrorist organization. Except perhaps the red cressant, a mirror of the red cross.

Yen Cross's picture

   This is really just covert CIA/NSA to bug all homes purchased with illicit cash for future confiscation. /sarc

  Keeping Amerika safe one mortgage at a time...

22winmag's picture

100 years ago it was JPM illegally financing WWI ... nothing new to see here.

mercy's picture


That $32,400 is probably tax deductable.

swmnguy's picture

Does anybody other than the US and Israel consider Hezbollah to be terrorists?  Honest question, not snark.

joak's picture

Well, they make the "list", so... I will tell it out loud : Hezbollah is not a terrorist organization, merely a resistance group, and not fanatics, despite what people think (they mix up Hezbollah and Al Qaeda I guess). Anybody who listened to some Hassan Nasrallah's speeches would agree I think, he is far from the crazy mollahs calling for the destruction of Syria.

Rafferty's picture

The bought and paid for political and media whores scattered around the globe.