HSBC Free From Charges In US court

In a deferred prosecution agreement a prosecutor grants an amnesty in exchange for the defendant agreeing to fulfil certain requirements, often including the payment of a fine and a pledge to avoid further bad behaviour.

The US Department of Justice (DoJ) has dismissed criminal charges against HSBC over money laundering and sanction breaches.

HSBC said in 2012 it would take action to tighten and improve its policies against being used for money laundering.

The move by the department lifts the threat of criminal prosecution that had been a "sword of Damocles" hanging over London-headquartered HSBC, as its new management team looks to put its misconduct-plagued past behind it.

After the US probe was completed, HSBC admitted to having poor controls established for money laundering and made an apology.

Following its signing of the DPA in 2012, HSBC embarked on a worldwide programme of upgrading its compliance systems to U.S. standards, raising its spending to more than US$1 billion a year.

The banking giant based in the United Kingdom was alleged to have been handling transaction for other countries under sanctions by the USA such as Sudan, Libya and Iran.

However, HSBC warned in its last annual report that the independent monitor appointed by the DoJ to assess its anti-money laundering and sanction compliance programme had "expressed significant concerns" about the pace of HSBC's attempts to clean up its act in its latest report.

The monitor has also been serving since July 2013 as HSBC's Skilled Person. The bank announced that the monitor would stay on at that same capacity for a period, at the discretion of the FCA.

Gulliver continued by say the bank was committed to doing its part in protecting the global financial system's integrity, and further improvement to its own contributions and capability toward this partnership.

In its most recent quarterly update in September, the Justice Department said that it "believes that HSBC continues to show a commitment to compliance" with the agreement and "is aware of no issues that require the courts intervention at this time".

He ended by saying what the bank established in this area with governments will remain one of its top priorities into 2018 and will beyond.

Latest News