HSBC money laundering report must be made public: U.S. judge

A federal judge has ordered the release of a report detailing how well HSBC Holdings Plc has complied with anti-money laundering requirements imposed by U.S. regulators when the British bank was fined $1.92 billion three years ago.


Thursday’s order by U.S. District Judge John Gleeson in Brooklyn is a defeat for HSBC and the U.S. Department of Justice, which complained the release could make it easier to launder money, including for terrorism, and discourage cooperation with law enforcement.


“This case implicates matters of great public concern and is therefore one which the public has an interest in overseeing,” Gleeson wrote, citing the public’s constitutional right of access under the First Amendment.


Gleeson gave HSBC and the government until Feb. 12 to propose redactions of details that could threaten HSBC employees’ privacy or help criminals exploit weaknesses in the bank’s controls.

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