22 March, 2017
Europe's biggest bank has allegedly processed more than $500 million in Russian "dirty money" over four years.
British banks were also a part of the large-scale Russian operation for money laundering through Moldova and Latvia in the period 2010 - 2014, showed data from an worldwide investigation, cited by The Guardian.
The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), an East European media network, and Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta have also shared documents and data with the Guardian newspaper and media partners about the alleged involvement of British banks.
Several UK banks have been accused of handling $740m in Russian money as part of a global money laundering scheme. The case is about 740 million dollars. One of the people close to the inquiry told the paper that the money from Russian Federation was "obviously either stolen or with criminal origin". The documents detail 70,000 transactions, almost 2,000 of which involved banks in the UK.
The HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds, Barclays and Couttus are under suspicion.
However, it added that while the Laundromat scheme involved companies established in Britain, their bank accounts were held in non-UK jurisdictions so the money did not generally move through its financial system.
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According to a report in The Guardian, it processed $545.3m (£437.3m) out of Russian Federation between 2010 and 2014, mostly through its Hong Kong branch.
Kirby stressed that the United Kingdom government wanted "financial institutions to lead the way in the global fight against money laundering".
Transparency International executive director Robert Barrington, who was first alerted to the United Kingdom end of the so-called Laundromat when it was exposed by the Evening Standard and Independent newspapers in 2014, said: "There have been some small improvements in controlling money laundering, but fundamentally nothing has changed since".
The FCA, tasked with ensuring that financial services companies have adequate, proportionate and efficient safeguards to prevent them being used for financial crime, said it would investigate any evidence that it received.
HSBC responded to the allegations saying: "The bank has systems and processes in place to identify suspicious activity and report it to the appropriate government authorities". Britain can not be a haven for the criminals of the world who are looking to hide their money.