HSBC’s South African arm has been fined ZAR15m ($10,44,472.5) by the South African Reserve Bank’s Prudential Authority. The HSBC fine is due to failure to combat money laundering and terrorism financing.
The central bank of South Africa said that weaknesses in the bank’s controls led to the failures.
The HSBC fine
Commenting on the settlement, the central bank said: “The administrative sanctions were imposed because certain weaknesses were identified in HSBC’s processes which inhibited HSBC from proactively detecting potential money laundering and the financing of terrorism.
“It should be noted that the administrative sanctions were not imposed because HSBC was found to have facilitated transactions involving money laundering or the financing of terrorism.”
Of the total penalty amount, half will be suspended for three years. The move is subject to HSBC meeting certain conditions.
In response, HSBC said that it accepted the sanctions by the regulator.
“We can confirm that the issues identified by SARB during the 2016 inspection have been fully remediated,” the bank was quoted as saying by Reuters.
However, HSBC isn’t all bad. In the UK, it performed well when it came to customer complaints.
Of all the major UK retail banks, only Metro Bank (46.8%) shows a figure below 50% for complaints being upheld.
Tesco Bank (51.4%) and HSBC (56.0%) rank next best with the lowest percentage of complaints upheld.