HSBC hires US expert on drug cartels after lapses in Mexico

Written by Reuters | London | Updated: Jan 31 2013, 08:46am hrs
HSBC is hiring a former US deputy attorney general with a background in fighting drug cartels to help the global bank avoid a repeat of lapses in its anti-money-laundering controls that led to a $1.9-billion fine.

The penalty, the largest ever paid by a bank, followed a long US investigation into HSBCs Mexican and US operations that concluded last month with scathing criticism of the systems it used to stop the proceeds of organised crime passing through its accounts.

Jim Comey will join Europes biggest bank as a non-executive director in March and will be a member of a new committee to combat financial crime. As US attorney for the southern district of New York from 2002 to 2003, Comey set up a specialised unit to prosecute international drug cartels and supervised the prosecution of executives on fraud and securities-related charges.