Tag Archives: reform banks & top companies to restore accountability

Loss of trust is the biggest flaw at the heart of our culture, and must be repaired

It isn’t often that a senior executive in a major company contradicts what the chief executive says about the honest and honourable management of the company.   Compare this, Stuart Gulliver, chief executive of HSBC since 2011 telling the Commons public accounts committee in February: “In terms of actually tightening HSBC, making it a business that actually follows the highest standards of money-laundering controls, knowing our customers and tax transparency, substantial root-and-branch reforms have taken place”.   That’s the public face of capitalism.   Now compare that with what Lee Hale, global head of sanctions at HSBC, told a confidential meeting (at which a recording was taken) with independent lawyers monitoring HSBC as part of a 2012 deal with the US Department of Justice in which the bank avoided prosecution over sanctions-busing and money-laundering in its Mexican branch in exchange for paying a £1.3bn fine and being made subject to additional regulatory scrutiny for the next 5 years.   Hale told them: “Given the size and scale of HSBC, it’s a cast-iron certainty that at some point in the future we’re going to have some big breach, some regulatory breach”.   So who do you believe –  Gulliver?   Nor do I.
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