HSBC Deferred Prosecution Agreement PDF: An Overview

HSBC Holdings, one of the world`s largest banks, agreed to pay a $1.9 billion fine and enter into a Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA) with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) in 2012. The DPA required HSBC to implement extensive reforms and submit to regular audits to prevent the bank from being used for money laundering and other illicit activities. This article provides an overview of the HSBC Deferred Prosecution Agreement PDF and its key provisions.


Over the years, HSBC had been accused of facilitating money laundering and other criminal activities by its clients. The bank`s compliance with anti-money laundering (AML) laws had been under the scrutiny of U.S. regulators for a couple of years before the DOJ entered into a DPA with the bank. The DOJ claimed that HSBC had ignored warning signs that its clients were involved in illegal activities, including drug trafficking and terrorism financing.

Details of the DPA

The DPA requires HSBC to implement extensive remedial measures to improve its AML compliance programs. Some of the key provisions of the DPA are:

– Independent Monitor: HSBC is required to hire an independent monitor to examine its AML compliance program and report to the DOJ regularly.

– Enhanced AML Compliance Program: HSBC is required to enhance its AML compliance program, including:

a. Developing and implementing policies and procedures to detect and prevent money laundering.

b. Conducting regular risk assessments to identify areas of high risk.

c. Conducting due diligence on high-risk accounts.

d. Training employees on AML laws and regulations.

– Suspicious Activity Reporting: HSBC is required to improve its suspicious activity reporting (SAR) program. This includes:

a. Conducting SAR training for employees.

b. Improving SAR quality and completeness.

c. Implementing a system to identify SARs that were not filed or were filed late.

– Customer Due Diligence: HSBC is required to enhance its customer due diligence (CDD) program. This includes:

a. Verifying the identity of customers.

b. Risk-rating customers based on their AML risk.

c. Conducting ongoing monitoring of high-risk customers.

– Other measures: HSBC is required to implement other measures, including:

a. Prohibiting accounts for shell companies.

b. Ending business relationships with high-risk correspondent banks.

c. Conducting regular audits of its AML compliance program.

Implications of the DPA

The HSBC DPA is significant in several ways. First, it highlights the importance of AML compliance for financial institutions. Second, it demonstrates the willingness of U.S. regulators to take strong enforcement actions against financial institutions that violate AML laws. Third, it sets a precedent for future DPAs between banks and regulators. Fourth, it requires HSBC to undertake significant remedial measures to improve its AML compliance program.


The HSBC Deferred Prosecution Agreement PDF is an important document that outlines the remedial measures that the bank is required to take to improve its AML compliance program. The DPA is significant for its size, its extensive remedial measures, and its implications for future DPAs. Banks and financial institutions should take note of the provisions of this DPA and ensure that they have strong AML compliance programs in place to avoid regulatory enforcement actions.