Bloomberg News reports that the team, which will be joined by 25 employees reassigned from other offices, will focus on anti-money laundering and sanctions compliance, said the people, who asked not to be identified as they were not permitted to talk publicly. They will be based in Edinburgh, where the bank recently opened a third office.
HSBC has increased its compliance workforce to about 9,000 staff from 1,500 in 2010, accelerating the pace of hiring since 2012, the year U.S. authorities fined the bank $1.9bn and charged it with violating sanctions laws and allowing Mexican drug traffickers to launder hundreds of millions of dollars. Under the terms of a deferred prosecution agreement it struck with the U.S. Justice Department, any repeat offenses or a failure to adequately upgrade internal controls could result in the firm losing its U.S. banking license.
In January a Department of Justice-appointed monitor lauded the bank’s "commendable progress" in boosting its controls, but said not enough had been done to ensure that it could adequately spot violations.
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