HSBC boss admits banks complex structure 'exposed it to money-laundering criminals'
London, Feb 7 : HSBC's chief executive Stuart Gulliver has admitted that the firm's biggest ever restructuring had been necessary to simplify its complex structure that had made it attractive to money-laundering criminals.
Sulliver said HSBC's structure 'was not fit for purpose for a modern world', adding that the restructure he launched on taking the helm two years ago had been the biggest since the bank was founded.
He said that its 'geographic footprint became very attractive to trans-national criminal organisations, whether they are terrorist in origin or criminal in origin,' the Telegraph reports.
HSBC was fined 1.9 billion dollars in December, the largest ever paid by a bank, to settle allegations that its failure to enforce anti-money laundering rules left America's financial system exposed to terrorist organisations and drug cartels.
After becoming chief executive at the start of 2011, Gulliver centralised control and created global business operations, taking much of the control out of the hands of regional managers.
According to the paper, he also launched a large scale disposal of "non-core" businesses - the first set of sell-offs in the bank's history.