If you think that mass money laundering is HSBC’s problem alone then you may well be proven wrong. As noted elsewhere on our website, background checks on individuals and companies etc have sadly become box ticking exercises by not only computers but humans too. Don’t be surprised, given time, that this scandal starts to encompass other banks and financial institutions who are meant to know their clients just as the scandal over Libor is just beginning to spread to other rates and indices which are determined by way of polling financial institutions.

Of course, these scandals have all become embedded over the years under the very noses of all the world’s top internal and external auditors, compliance teams, risk managers and external regulators not to mention some of the world’s highest paid directors and those who report to them. Being rocket scientists, we at Faire Sans Dire believe we have uncovered the sole reason behind all these scandals of late: it’s money.

After all, even security staff as well as regulators, auditors and so on all expect annual bonuses nowadays. No doubt many G4S staff will get bonuses after the Olympics as will many public sector staff. It makes us wonder what basic salaries are for in this day and age.

One way to get a bonus, no matter what one’s job, is to cover more ground whether in sales (eg by selling more products and services to as many drug barons as can be mustered) or compliance (eg by ticking as many boxes in sight as possible without even peering inside them as that would slow down the process). How thin the ice that is skated on in doing so only seems to matter when it cracks some time later even though many must have known it was wafer thin when they skated across it to collect their bonuses.

This article was first published on 22nd July 2012.

For more recent developments which we described as “more to come” an article published by the Washington Post is worth a read along with another fascinating article in the Daily Telegraph.

Since those articles were published, as we expected, the money laundering issues banks and their directors face have mushroomed as exemplified by this article in the Washington Post about those who are now “too big to jail”. No doubt many more articles will follow that.

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