British Minister of Trade and Investment, Lord Green, is under increasing pressure to provide a detailed account of his involvement with HSBC's money laundering activities.
Chris Leslie, the Shadow Financial Secretary to the Treasury, has written to Lord Green demanding answers to questions about his knowledge and actions in HSBC's money laundering, which was earlier reported by Digital Journal.
Up to the present, the government has sought to avoid answering any questions on this issue, claiming that "it is a matter for HSBC." However, Mr Leslie's letter, which is published in full in today's Telegraph, will doubtless make it significantly harder to hold that line.
In his letter, Mr Leslie points out that Senator Carl Levin has referred to the money laundering, stating:
HSBC's chief compliance officer and other senior executives in London knew what was going on but allowed the deceptive conduct to continue.
Mr Leslie then poses a series of pointed questions, demanding to know what Lord Green, as head of HSBC, knew and what action he took to address the problems.
Lord Green has so far declined to comment. However, as the Guardian reports, the Senate Committee report shows that he was informed of the problems at least as early as 2005. Moreover, it is also evident from the report that the "deceptive" practices continued. There is also evidence in the report that Green was made aware of the continuing concerns of regulators.
Lord Oakeshott, of the Liberal Democrat party, which is part of the coalition government, said of his colleague, Lord Green:
...if even he couldn't stop these scandals, banks like HSBC and Barclays aren't just too big to fail, they are clearly too big to control.