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NR 2010-121
Contact: Kevin M. Mukri
(202) 874-5770

OCC Issues Cease and Desist Order Against HSBC Bank USA, N.A.

WASHINGTON — The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) announced today the issuance of a Cease and Desist Order against HSBC Bank USA, N.A., McLean, Virginia, for violating the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and its underlying regulations. The Order requires the bank to take comprehensive corrective actions to improve its BSA compliance program. Today's action does not preclude the OCC from assessing a civil money penalty against the bank.

Concurrent with the OCC's enforcement action, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System has issued a Cease and Desist Order upon Consent with the bank's parent company, HSBC North America Holdings, Inc., to ensure the adequacy of the parent company's firm-wide compliance risk-management program.

The OCC found that the bank's BSA compliance program had deficiencies with respect to suspicious activity reporting, monitoring of bulk cash purchases and international funds transfers, customer due diligence concerning its foreign affiliates, and risk assessment with respect to politically-exposed persons and their associates. These findings resulted in violations by the bank of statutory and regulatory requirements to maintain an adequate BSA compliance program, file suspicious activity reports, and conduct appropriate due diligence on foreign correspondent accounts.

A copy of the OCC's enforcement action is attached.

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