HSBC HK shares fall to lowest since 1995, StanChart drops on FinCEN leak
HSBC and Standard Chartered’s Hong Kong shares fell on Monday after news that they and other banks moved large sums of allegedly illegitimate funds for almost two decades despite the questionable origins of the money.
Media reports were based on leaked suspicious activity reports (SARs) filed by banks and financial firms with the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). The reports highlighted challenges for financial and regulatory institutions trying to halt the flow of illicit money despite billion-dollar investments and penalties imposed on banking institutions in the last decade.
HSBC Hong Kong shares dropped 4.4% to HK$29.69 on Monday, its lowest level since May 1995. StanChart fell 3.8% to HK$35.80, its lowest since late May, while the Hang Seng index slid 0.4%.
HSBC and Standard Chartered were among the global banks sanctioned for billions of dollars in recent years over violations of anti-money laundering rules and U.S. sanctions on Iran.
Over 2,100 SARs were obtained by the media, which contained information about $2 trillion worth of transactions from 1999 to 2017. The transactions were flagged as suspicious by internal compliance departments of financial institutions. However, the leaked documents were only a fraction of all the reports filed with FinCEN.
The SARs showed that banks moved funds for companies in offshore jurisdictions, including the British Virgin Islands.