HSBC Money Laundering

I’m working my way through the new Netflix ‘Dirty Money’ series and just watched the HSBC episode. Well worth a watch.

It definitely reinforces my wish for a new era of banking!

It also makes me wonder what protections Monzo have in place to prevent such things as it grows in customers?


Can you give a short summary of these things, for those who haven’t watched this?

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Of course.

Oversimplified, and I have no idea if HSBC is worse than other banks or simply the first one on my radar at this scale, but they essentially knowing let Mexican drug cartels use them for money laundering. An example of this not just being negligence, but being deliberate, was processing transactions from blacklisted organisations by entering for example ‘’ instead of ‘name’ in the wire transfer field so it would avoid automatic flagging.

By buying a Mexican bank and setting themselves up as a bank within Mexico they also acted as a way for cartels to have access to international banking, whereas previously they had been limited to the local banking system.

When investigated said ‘sorry, we will improve’, did not do so, when caught again were given an easily absorbed fine, and not prosecuted in any major way.

Knowing how many deaths are on the hand of the cartels to me this also passes some of that guilt on to HSBC, as if the cartels were not able to launder money then drug dealing would not be as lucrative (not as much use having large amounts of cash you can’t do anything with) and so less violently competitive.


Good shout, I love stuff like that.

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Sorry to resurrect an old thread, but I’ve just seen this episode and wow!

HSBC allowed the financing of international terrorist organisations and drug cartels and knowingly hid the transactions from regulators whilst ignoring Money Laundering falgs on purpose. And they fully admitted it all and avoided prosecution for every part, following requests from UK regulators.

Fascinating and highly recommended.

The episode or money laundering in general? :joy:

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To be fair - both. If I get caught money laundering I’ll be sure to leave a damming Trustpilot review though.