Shamed banking giant HSBC has released a statement admitting it 'sometimes failed to meet the standards that regulators and customers expect' and said it 'will apologise' for its mistakes.
With its tail firmly between its legs, the bank has been forced to say sorry after an investigation by the US Senate found it had ignored clear signs its Mexican division was being used as a conduit for billions of dollars of drug money to be transferred to America.
The investigation also found HSBC continued to do business with a Saudi Arabian bank with suspected links to terrorist financing operations.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, the same day the bank appeared before a United States Senate investigative subcommittee, the bank said: "HSBC takes compliance with the law, wherever it operates, very seriously. We will acknowledge that, in the past, we have sometimes failed to meet the standards that regulators and customers expect.
"We will apologise, acknowledge these mistakes, answer for our actions and give our absolute commitment to fixing what went wrong.
"We have learned a great deal working with the Subcommittee on this case history and also working with US regulatory authorities, and recognise that our controls could and should have been stronger and more effective in order to spot and deal with unacceptable behaviour."
The bank has already taken steps to put in place both a new senior leadership team and a new strategy, believing the scandal will "provide important lessons for the whole industry in seeking to prevent illicit actors entering the global financial system".
"Successfully implementing these steps will make a significant difference to the overall integrity of the global financial system," the bank added.
"Success in detecting and preventing illicit actors' access to the global financial system calls for constant vigilance and HSBC will continue to work in close cooperation with all governments to achieve this. This is integral to the execution of HSBC's strategy and to our core values."
The steps the company has taken included the creation of a new global structure, a "substantial" increase in resources, and adopting and enforcing a single standard globally.
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