Dec. 6 - Europe's biggest bank, HSBC, could pay a $1.8 billion money laundering fine as part of a settlement with U.S. law enforcement agencies, according to sources. Hayley Platt reports
1.8 billion dollars is today's daily digit. That's the size of a fine HSBC might pay U.S. law-enforcement agencies for breaching money laundering rules, according to sources. The settlement with Europe's biggest bank has been in the works for months. A U.S senate report released back in July said HSBC allowed clients to move funds from countries like Mexico, Iran and Syria. HSBC says it could also face criminal charges. The potential fine follows a string of controversies in Britain's banking sector. In June Barclays was fined 450 million dollars by U.S. and UK regulators for attempting to rig the Libor interbank lending rate. And Standard Chartered expects to pay the U.S. a 330 million dollar fine over claims it hid transactions with Iran. HSBC is seen as a test case, as U.S prosecutors will signal how serious they are about stopping illicit flows of money moving through U.S. banks. It says it has already set aside 1.5 billion to cover the potential fine but its CEO believes the cost could be "significantly higher". The settlement could be announced as soon as next week.