HSBC Fined Millions For Laundering Mexican Drug Cartel Cash
July 26, 2012

Mexico fined one of its largest banks $28 million for allowing cartels to use the international financial institution to launder billions of dollars in drug proceeds.

Mexican bank regulators say that in the mid-2000s, HSBC Mexico was the country’s biggest cash exporter of dollars to the U.S. In fact, it accounted for almost half the money leaving the country and deposited into U.S. accounts. At the time, it wasn't even one of Mexico's biggest banks.

Mexican officials say that was drug money that HSBC should have reported. On July 25, they said they had warned HSBC about the money laundering and were ignored.

The fine is one of the largest ever levied by Mexico. It followed a U.S. Senate investigative committee's hearing that detailed the bank's transgressions. The Senate found that HSBC had allowed nearly $7 billion to flow into the U.S. in a two-year period.

In a statement, HSBC Mexico admitted it failed to report 39 suspicious transactions and delayed in reporting 1,700 more.

The U.S, Department of Justice is also conducting a criminal investigation into HSBC's operations.