Global banking giant HSBC and its US affiliate concealed more than £10 billion in sensitive transactions to Iran, violating US transparency rules over a six-year period, a Senate panel said Tuesday.
HSBC executives were aware of the “concealed Iranian transactions” — which stripped all identifying Iranian information from documentation — as early as 2001 but allowed thousands of transactions to continue until 2007, according to a Senate report on HSBC shortcomings in stopping money laundering.
A review of HSBC’s use of so-called U-turn transactions, in which funds are sent into and then out of the United States through non-Iranian foreign banks, showed the bank conducted almost £16,000 transactions with Iran, amounting to £12.4 billion.
“The vast majority of the Iranian transactions, ranging from 75-90 percent over the years, were sent through HBUS (the bank’s US operation) and other US dollar accounts without disclosing any connection to Iran,” according to the report by the Senate Homeland Security Subcommittee on Investigations.
“From at least 2001 to 2007, two HSBC affiliates, HSBC Europe (HBEU) and later HSBC Middle East (HBME), repeatedly conducted U-turn transactions involving Iran through HBUS, many of which were not disclosed to the bank, even though they knew HBUS required full transparency to process U-turns.”
The US prohibits doing business with nations such as Iran, North Korea and Sudan, and its Office of Foreign Assets Control imposes tight restrictions, known as OFAC filters, to halt potentially prohibited transactions.
“HSBC’s chief compliance officer and other senior executive in London knew what was going on, but allowed the deceptive conduct to continue,” Senator Carl Levin, the subcommittee’s chairman, told a hearing where he and other lawmakers grilled HSBC executives and US Treasury officials for failing to sufficiently guard against money laundering.
Michael Moore predicts Mick Mulvaney will get into Heaven after confessing Trump’s quid pro quo
Academy Award-winning filmmaker Michael Moore predicted acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney will ascend to Heaven in the afterlife during a Friday interview on MSNBC's "The Beat" with Ari Melber.
The host played a clip of Mulvaney admitting Trump's quid pro quo while seeking foreign election assistance from Ukraine.
"This man obviously is going to be admitted into Heaven," Moore said. "You know, he told the truth."
"If there was a movie version of this, somebody stuck him with a needle just before he walked out onto the stage there, a truth serum needle, and he just went on and on saying, 'Yeah, that’s what we do. Yeah, of course.' Essentially admitting there is a quid pro quo. In fact, there are many quid pro quos."
Trump campaign has 12-person ‘War Room’ toiling to fight the impeachment inquiry: report
While the White House has bragged about refusing to start a "war room" to deal with the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump's administration, his campaign is footing the bill for a 12-person operation, the LA Times reported Friday.
“Some of you have criticized us for not having a war room — OK? — which we don’t by the way,” acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney told reporters.
“You don’t have a war room when you haven’t done anything wrong," he added.
By that logic, Trump's 2020 re-election campaign may fear the president did something wrong.
‘I don’t think he knows what he’s doing’: Ex-Trump advisor rips the ‘cascading crisis’ of his ‘strategic disaster’
President Donald Trump received harsh criticism from a former top Middle East advisor for the ethnic cleansing campaign Turkey is waging against the Kurds in Syria.
MSNBC's Chuck Todd interviewed Brett McGurk, the former special presidential envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL.
"The truth of the matter is when President Trump announced to the world last December that we were leaving Syria and he arbitrarily cut our force reportedly in half, which is already a small force, we lost all of our leverage and influence," McGurk argued. "And he really threw it out the window on this call on October 6th."