HSBC says US officials will dismiss criminal charges

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A former Bridgeport neighborhood bank employee was sentenced to 15 months in prison for stealing about $180,000 of the bank’s money from 2008 to 2010. | AP file photo

LONDON — HSBC says the U.S. Department of Justice will ask a court to dismiss deferred criminal charges against the London-based bank in recognition of its efforts to strengthen safeguards against money laundering.

The bank says it has lived up to all of its commitments under a five-year deferred prosecution agreement that has now expired and U.S. authorities will file a motion to dismiss the charges deferred by that deal.

The move marks a significant step for the global bank, which signed the agreement to avoid charges for allegedly laundering millions of dollars from Mexican drug barons and countries facing U.S. sanctions.

HSBC Chief Executive Stuart Gulliver says the bank is better able to fight financial crime “as the result of the significant reforms we have implemented over the last five years.”

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