Money laundering: StanChart, HSBC officers caught on camera

HSBC and Standard Chartered officers have been caught in a Cobrapost sting operation, offering to launder money. A Cobrapost undercover reporter posing as a politician's aide was offered lockers for black money.
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Jun 19, 2013, 05.10 PM | Source: IBNLive.com

Money laundering: StanChart, HSBC officers caught on camera

HSBC and Standard Chartered officers have been caught in a Cobrapost sting operation, offering to launder money. A Cobrapost undercover reporter posing as a politician's aide was offered lockers for black money.

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Money laundering: StanChart, HSBC officers caught on camera

HSBC and Standard Chartered officers have been caught in a Cobrapost sting operation, offering to launder money. A Cobrapost undercover reporter posing as a politician's aide was offered lockers for black money.

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Money laundering: StanChart, HSBC officers caught on camera
After the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) fined ICICI , HDFC and Axis banks for flouting customer norms, highlighted by a Cobrapost expose, the latest sting operation by the online magazine exposes how some employees in two foreign banks in India have also been involved in accepting black money and agreeing to launder it.

Also read: SEBI, RBI needs to use teeth given to them by law: Takru

HSBC and Standard Chartered officers have been caught in a Cobrapost sting operation, offering to launder money. A Cobrapost undercover reporter posing as a politician's aide was offered lockers for black money.

After the earlier Cobrapost sting, the Income Tax Department had issued notices to ICICI, HDFC and Axis banks and the RBI even levied hefty fines on them, but senior bank officials confirm on camera that money laundering is a service offered by all.

HSBC has reacted to the latest sting operation by suspending employees who were seen soliciting black money on camera. "HSBC has a zero-tolerance policy for breaches of law and regulation and the bank takes seriously any reports or allegations of such breaches. As soon as we were informed of the CNN-IBN news report, we launched an immediate investigation including to determine whether any accounts were opened or any transactions similar to those described in the conversations reported by CNN-IBN ever took place. Our employees featured in the news report are on leave pending completion of the investigation. We will take appropriate action, including dismissal, if any employee is found after investigation to have breached the law or our policy," HSBC said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Standard Chartered said it is investigating "failures" in banking standards. "We expect all staff to conduct our business with the highest standards of ethics and integrity. We investigate rigorously failures to follow the banks' standards, which may lead to disciplinary action and dismissal," Standard Chartered said in a statement.

However, Cobrapost expose also showed how a few bank officers refused to accept money. When asked to illegally transfer funds from foreign accounts by an undercover reporter, HSBC's Ashish Agarwal quoted RBI guidelines and refused the request.

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Money laundering: StanChart, HSBC officers caught on camera

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