HSBC, Europe's largest bank is bracing for a $1 billion fine for helping fund terrorism and other criminal activities by not having adequate anti-money laundering controls.
The impending fine on Britain's most profitable bank comes just days after Barclays chairman and chief executive resigned over fixing the Libor-rate and the bank may be fined around £1.5 billion.
Ahead of appearing before the US Senate's investigative panel on 17 July, the London-based bank's CEO, Stuart Gulliver wrote in an internal note sent to employees on 10 July that was assessed by Bloomberg, ''Between 2004 and 2010, our anti-money laundering controls should have been stronger and more effective, and we failed to spot and deal with unacceptable behaviour.''
''It is right that we be held accountable and that we take responsibility for fixing what went wrong,'' the note added.
The hearing is part of the investigative panel's year-long investigation into compliance by banks with US money-laundering laws.
Gulliver has acknowledged that the bank could face further criminal or civil enforcement measures from the US prosecutors in the coming months.