In 2012 HSBC entered into a Deferred Prosecution Agreement in the US. They paid $1.9bn to stave off a prosecution for money laundering for the Sinaloa Mexican drug cartel and Hezbollah and Hamas. The effect of the DPA was that if they committed any other crimes covered by the DPA during its 5 year currency they would be prosecuted in the US.
The main reason HSBC was not prosecuted in the US was because of the involvement of George Osborne, who pleaded with the Department of Justice not to prosecute, claiming that it would cause a global financial disaster. The Financial Services Authority (now the Financial Conduct Authority who have so far refused to investigate the HSBC fraud I have reported) also made representations to the DoJ to the same effect. At the time George Osborne’s Parliamentary Private Secretary was Amber Rudd. The person at HSBC in the US responsible for corporate compliance at the time of the crimes was Rona Fairhead (now Baroness Fairhead and International Trade Minister), who was unlawfully appointed to head the BBC by David Cameron.
So far so good. HSBC had to be on best behaviour for 5 years, failing which they would have been prosecuted. Last year when I stood for parliament as an independent candidate against corruption, Amber Rudd, the Home Secretary, had me shut down by the chairman at a hustings in Rye as soon as I mentioned HSBC. (I went on to talk about UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia) The video clip of this political censorship has had over 5m views on Facebook and YouTube. Amber Rudd’s brother, Roland Rudd is the owner of Finsbury, a PR company that handles global PR for HSBC.
As Home Secretary Amber Rudd was responsible for oversight of the National Crime Agency. Jon Benton senior police officer in charge of investigating corruption has revealed that he was ordered to halt an inquiry into Russian money laundering. This article doesn’t give a date when the detective was told to drop the investigation, but since Amber Rudd was Home Secretary between 2016 and 2018 it was likely to have been on her watch. The official reason given is that the information was supplied by William Browder, and that he was a pain in the neck.
I will write separately, later, about Bill Browder. My view is that Browder is a smokescreen for HSBC crimes. Suffice to say for now, he earned billions investing in Russia through Hermitage Capital. The bankers and trustees of Hermitage are HSBC, who paid £17m in Russia in June 2018 in settlement of a tax evasion claim connected with Browder’s companies. This was not reported in the UK apart from the Times, who blamed Putin for the crime. There was also this, from Bloomberg. There are many people uncovering Browder’s lies, but the Western authorities and media treat him as whistleblowing hero and human rights activist. He is a convicted criminal (in Russia). If you want to know the truth I suggest watching this film The Magnitsky Act – Behind the Scenes.
A DPA requires a monitor to ensure that the subject of the DPA complies with the terms. In Europe the monitor was Lisa Osofsky, who released HSBC from the DPA after the five years were up, in December 2017. In June 2018 it was announced that Osofsky would be the new director of the Serious Fraud Office. One of her first moves was to recruit Peter Pope, a partner in law firm Jenner & Block, that acts for HSBC in the US.
The Russian money laundering scandal ran from 2010 to 2014. HSBC have been named as one of the prime banks involved.
If HSBC had been investigated last year for its involvement in the Russian Laundromat and found culpable it will have breached the terms of its DPA and been prosecuted in the US, with the likelihood of jail sentences and the loss of its licence.
This is corruption on a massive scale involving MPs, regulators and law enforcement in the cover-up.