Demand Real Penalties For Bank Crimes

Target: Jacob Lew, Secretary of the U.S. Treasury

Goal: Bring appropriate action against HSBC executives for allowing drug cartels to launder money

HSBC, the largest bank in Europe, was found guilty last year of failing to prevent Mexican drug cartels from laundering money at their bank. Although HSBC allowed $670 billion in transfers and another $9.4 billion in U.S. currency purchases from drug cartels to go completely unmonitored, the bank is only being fined $1.9 billion by the U.S. Treasury. Not only that, but no official charges have been brought against any individuals at HSBC; by the bank’s standards, this fine amounts to no more than a slap on the wrist.

The hypocrisy of this situation is astounding. American citizens are sentenced to life in prison every day for their own personal drug use, while a bank making many billions of dollars off of the incredibly violent drug trade barely gets more than a citation. This is yet another example of our legal system applying an entirely different set of rules to the rich and powerful than to ordinary citizens.

Drug cartels are currently waging one of the bloodiest wars on Earth against the people and government of Mexico. The money HSBC allowed them to launder is not only dirty because of the actual drug trade, but much more so because of the insane violence used to secure it. HSBC has already been found guilty of criminal misconduct for allowing this money to go through their system, yet the individuals responsible may never face penalties of any kind. Sign the petition to demand that the U.S. Treasury level much heavier charges against HSBC and the individuals responsible for these devastating crimes.


Dear Mr. Lew,

Your reaction to HSBC’s conviction of failing to prevent drug cartel money laundering is nothing less than appalling. One of the largest banks in the world has been making billions of dollars off the drug trade, and hence, the outrageous violence surrounding the drug trade. The fine of $1.9 billion will be little more than a hiccup in HSBC’s finances, and furthermore, none of the individuals responsible for this crime are currently facing charges of any kind.

An appropriate response would be to fine the bank for all of the money that came from cartels, and to press grievous criminal charges against the executives who allowed these transactions. Too many Americans are currently in prison due to non-violent drug charges; to allow these HSBC executives to walk away from this crime is hypocritical in the extreme. Please right these wrongs by taking appropriate action against HSBC and the executives in charge.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Michael Fleshman via Flickr

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