Shares of HSBC dive to lowest level since 1995

Shares of HSBC dive to lowest level since 1995
The bank says it has always met its legal duties on reporting such activity. Source: GETTY IMAGES
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Daily US Times: The share price of HSBC has fallen to its lowest level since 1995 after leaked secret files revealed allegations of money laundering.

According to the secret files known as FinCEN, in 2013 and 2014 the bank allowed fraudsters to transfer millions of dollars across the world even after it had learned of their scam.

The bank says it has always met its legal duties on reporting such activity.

The shares fell by more than 4% to less than HK$30 on Monday in Hong Kong. In London at midday the shares were down 6%.

The UK-based bank is currently facing multiple pressures inclduing pandemic fallout and political tension in Hong Kong.

Although HSBC is headquartered in London, more than half of the bank’s profits come from Asia and its shares are important components of both the London and Hong Kong share markets.

Shares in other rival banks have also been hit. At lunchtime, Barclays and Standard Chartered were down by 5% and 6% respectively, while Germany’s Deutsche Bank was down 8%.

The share price falls came against a backdrop of broader negative sentiment on share markets. UK shares were down sharply amid fears of further Covid-related restrictions.

Even before the files were leaked, HSBC had been under pressure on multiple fronts and its shares have taken a particularly hard battering this year, falling by some 50%.

Its role in a $80m (£62m) fraud is detailed in a leak of documents – banks’ “suspicious activity reports” – that have been known as FinCEN Files.

HSBC moved the money through its US business to HSBC accounts in Hong Kong in 2013 and 2014.

The Europe’s biggest bank has set aside between $8bn and $13bn this year for bad loans as it expects more people and businesses to default on their repayments because of the coronavirus pandemic.

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