Will get to bottom of HSBC staff violating safety norms: Govt

Will get to bottom of HSBC staff violating safety norms: Govt

India today said it will "get to the bottom" of the alleged violation of safety compliance by HSBC's staff in the country against money laundering and terrorist financing as it was "serious" matter.

New Delhi also said it would seek more information from Washington on the probe by the US Senate's Permanent Sub-committee on Investigations which found that HSBC's Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Compliance Department, that included employees in India, was highly inadequately staffed.

"I think this is a very serious matter and we will get to the bottom of it. We need to get some more information from the Americans. We will get that very soon. This has been worrying us," Home Secretary R K Singh told reporters here.

Singh was reacting to reports that HSBC's India staff have come under the scanner for deficiencies in their role as "offshore reviewers" of the global banking giant's compliance to safety mechanism against money laundering and terrorist financing.

The Home Secretary said that Indian Ambassador to the United States Nirupama Rao has been asked to be in touch with US authorities to get more information on the issue.
"To tackle this, we have set up a Financial Intelligence Unit," Singh said.

The Home Secretary said terrorists were using new methods to carry out money laundering to fund their nefarious activities and the security agencies too had to resort to new strategies to catch them.

"Any financial institution that does not follow the international guidelines set by the Financial Action Task Force makes the entire world vulnerable," he said.

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