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Money laundering  and the steps financial institutions have to take to monitor it and prevent it are back in the news thanks to well-publicized missteps by banking giant HSBC.

Sen. Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate’s permanent subcommittee on investigations, in a statement said about HSBC and its United States affiliate HBUS: “Due to poor AML [anti-money laundering] controls, HBUS exposed the United States to Mexican drug money, suspicious travelers checks, bearer share corporations, and rogue jurisdictions. The bank’s federal bank regulator, the OCC, tolerated HSBC’s weak AML system for years. If an international bank won’t police its own affiliates to stop illicit money, the regulatory agencies should consider whether to revoke the charter of the U.S. bank being used to aid and abet that illicit money.”

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