Lord Green, the trade minister, has recently come under great scrutiny for his involvement in money-laundering during his time as chief executive of HSBC bank.
Lord Green was a chief executive for three years between 2003 and 2006, and during that time the bank became known for money-laundering for pariah states, terrorists and even drug cartels. He resigned his position in the bank in 2006 and took up a position in the coalition government in 2010.
A fine has recently been imposed on the bank by the US authorities for what they see as complicity in helping organisations conducting illegal activities move money around the world without it being monitored.
The amount of the fine has not yet been announced but some are expecting that it could be up to US$1 billion. The scandal has also caused the head of compliance at the bank, David Bigley, to resign his position after 20 years of employment with HSBC.
The shadow financial secretary has recently commented, “The fact that the US authorities found the bank guilty of these offences is quite a remarkable decision. The fact that the bank has been involved in money-laundering for terrorist groups is a serious offence and the resignation of the chief of compliance is a significant move by the bank.”
The bank has apologised to the United States for its failings to make sure that all of its activities were above board. A representative from the bank commented, “We have fallen short of our own expectations as well as the expectations of the financial regulators.”
Lord Green has not been available for comment since the situation came to light. He is currently an adviser to the government about banking, which is probably something many people will have an issue with after the revelations of his complicity in these illegal activities by the bank.