Was I qualified to be an Anti-Money Laundering Compliance Officer? No, I was far from qualified. Everyone there was unqualified. That is the point. Many of the same people with whom I worked are still working there now, approving transactions—hence, money going to terrorists and drug cartels. My job at HSBC was to close alerts. This is how it worked.
My department handled all of the international wires for HSBC. This did not occur in HSBC North America HQ, but in New Castle, Delaware. As an example, say you bank with J.P. Morgan and want to send $10,000 to your cousin in Gambia, Africa, who banks with Standard Chartered. How do you get it there? There are no J.P. Morgan banks in Gambia, and let’s say J.P. Morgan has no relationship with Standard Chartered.
This is where correspondent banking comes in. HSBC has a massive international presence. HSBC is all over the world, including countries that are enemies of the United States, like Iran. But in the Gambia case, HSBC has a correspondent relationship with Standard Chartered, which is in Gambia. So, you initiate the wire with J.P. Morgan, and J.P. Morgan sends it to HSBC, which then sends it to Standard Chartered in Gambia.
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