HSBC Activity in Argentina
20th March 2013

HSBC has been hit with new accusations of illegal activity in Argentina having only last year been hit by a US fine for money laundering and paying out $1.9bn (£1.2bn) to the US authorities in a settlement over money laundering

Argentina Tax Authority has filed criminal charges against HSBC and has accused HSBC of using fake receipts to facilitate money laundering and tax evasion, and launder 392m pesos ($77m; £50m).

.Argentina has laid out its case on the basis of what’s been investigated so far, in “six months we’ve recorded 392 million pesos in fraudulent transactions, generated by evasion and money laundering,” said Ricardo Echegaray, head of Argentina’s tax agency. Furthermore he went on to say that HSBC also helped aid clients in evading 224m pesos in tax and is looking to recover what is due and have the courts apply an appropriate penalty.

HSBC spokeswomen Lyssette Bravo has said that they would cooperate fully with the authorities to ensure a thorough review and appropriate resolution of the matter.

Money laundering is the process of disguising the proceeds of crime so that the money cannot be linked to the wrongdoing.

HSBC, which has previously admitted to having poor money laundering controls, has been taking steps to tighten its operations. It has spent millions on improving systems to prevent money laundering. The bank has even created a new position head Of Financial Crime Compliance in the hope of reducing money laundering by tightening up anti money laundering and sanctions compliance system. For this job they have appointed Bob Werner who was previously the head of the US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, the agency responsible for enforcing the US sanctions on countries, including Iran.

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