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HSBC may pay 1.1bn pound settlement in US

Europe's largest bank by market capitalization, HSBC, may pay a fine of 1.1bn pounds(1.8bn dollars) in the US to settle charges from US law enforcement authorities that it permitted money-laundering, Reuters reported on Thursday morning citing several people familiar with the matter.

Europe's largest bank by market capitalization, HSBC, may pay a fine of 1.1bn pounds(1.8bn dollars) in the US to settle charges from US law enforcement authorities that it permitted money-laundering, Reuters reported on Thursday morning citing several people familiar with the matter.

The accord may be signed as soon as next week, the news agency said.

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The international lender had already set aside 932m pounds in funds so as to cover against such possible charges - and others - in Mexico. The bank had also warned that any such costs could conceivably turn out to be much higher.

In other similar cases institutions have reached so-called delayed prosecution agreements. Those see the accused be given a sort of second chance. US federal law-enforcement agencies delay or forgo prosecuting a company if it admits to wrongdoing, pays a fine and agrees to clean up its compliance systems.

Nevertheless, the possibility apparently existed that criminal charges would be brought to bear should it have been decided that sending a more powerful 'signal' to bank would be convenient.

As an aside, on Thursday morning the Financial Times (FT) was bandying about the possibility of a similar sized fine - and for the same concept - for Deutsche Bank.

AB

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