EXCLUSIVE: How HSBC Drug-Lord money laundering points the finger at another senior Conservative

Trade & Investment Minister Stephen Green – how could he not have known?

Baron Green of Hurstpierpoint

How Green took specific interest in Bermuda, Mexico & Switzerland

Just when we thought the ethical limbo dancing of the banks couldn’t get any lower, up popped HSBC to agree a ‘no contest’ against charges of money laundering for Mexican drug lords and Iranian bombers. And just when you thought Camerlot surely couldn’t fit another implicated Minister into the frame, up pops Stephen Green – Baron Green of Hurstpierpoint, David Cameron’s Minister of Trade & Investment across both the Business and Foreign Office ministries.

A powerful and influential man in the Conservative Party, but a man with a past as Group CEO of HSBC (2003) and then Chairman of HSBC (2006) before being asked to join the Tory ranks in September 2010.

Green joined HSBC in 1982 and worked his way up the ladder, so he is steeped in the bank’s ‘values’. And as it happens, the Mexican money-laundering of which HSBC stands (effectively) guilty took place on The Baron’s watch between 2004 and 2010. Said Stuart Gulliver, the current CEO, earlier this week, “our anti-money-laundering controls should have been stronger and more effective, and we failed to spot and deal with unacceptable behavior.”

Yes, that’s one way of putting it. Here’s a fascinating quote from Stephen Green – an ordained Church of England priest – on the subject of acceptable behaviour:

“Underlying all these events is a question about the culture and ethics of the industry. It was as if, too often, people had given up asking whether something was the right thing to do, and focused only on whether it was legal and complied with the rules. The industry needs to recover a sense of what is right and suitable as a key impulse for doing business.” (To the Independent, March 2009)

Now I’d imagine that a man of The Baron’s religious fervour would regard ‘right and suitable’ as unlikely to apply to loving up Mexican marching-powder salesmen and self-destroying Islamist headcases. And as the CEO of HSBC, he was getting a shedload of money to ensure (among many other things) that wrong and unsuitable naughtiness did not occur. So he must now surely carry the can for that: harsh, but fair.

However, taking executive moral responsibility isn’t quite as far as this goes. Because during the period in question, the then plain Stephen Green had a specific role as…..a Director of HSBC Mexico S.A.

And given the frequent role of Caribbean destinations when it comes to discreet banking transfers and tax evasion, well, Stephen also gave himself another interest in……The Bank of Bermuda Ltd. In fact, he liked the idea so much, he bought the company. Having been appointed HSBC CEO in July 2003, one of The Baron’s first acts was to acquire Bank of Bermuda (BoB)…for US$1.3 billion. The bank describes itself as ‘spanning 17 of the world’s key financial and offshore centers including Bahrain, Cayman Islands, Cook Islands, Dublin, Guernsey, Hong Kong, Isle of Man, Japan, Jersey, London, Luxembourg, New York, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa and Switzerland’. Or again, more plainly expressed, BoB is an expert in discreet money movement and tax evasion avoidance.

Probably the most famous of all these centres of discretion is the last BoB theatre mentioned in that list: Switzerland. And you’ll never guess, but The Baron’s other specific specialism at HSBC was being……Chairman of HSBC Private Banking Holdings (Suisse) S.A.

Analysts Helvea estimate that ‘around 80% of EU sourced money [in private Swiss banks] is not declared to the national  tax authorities concerned’.  But HSBC Suisse has also had a few brushes with authority there itself.

In the Spring of 2010 (ten months before Green’s Baronetcy came through) account holder information was allegedly stolen by Hervé Falciani, an IT consultant, from HSBC Private Banking Holdings (Suisse). To be more precise, some 24,000 account details were liberated by Falciani and handed over to the authorities. Swiss banking regulators immediately launched a full-on investigation of the bank. The first British tax-evader to be nicked as a result of this (earlier this year) was property developer Michael Shanly, whose fortune is estimated at £132million. He is to pay £469,444 in fines and costs for failing to pay tax on money hidden in a Swiss bank account….which isn’t going to make much of a dent in £132m, is it, really? But that’s not important right now.

The UK Revenue (HMRC these days) in fact gained access via the Swiss authorities to some 15,000 British-held accounts in HSBC’s private Swiss bank. I’m told HMRC are likely to consider prosecution under Code of Practice 9 of around 150 individuals for serious tax fraud.

Now the Prime Minister David Cameron has told us many times that he doesn’t want tax avoiders like Jeremy Hunt in his circle. For some reason, however, Mr Hunt is still in that circle. But I doubt if even Dave can resist the wave of suspicion that will now fall upon Baron Green of Hurstpierpoint. For not only was he in charge and responsible  for corporate governance in HSBC’s wicked, wicked years, he also seems to have specifically sought out responsibility for Mexico, Bermuda, and Switzerland….the kind of places that facilitate tax evasion and money laundering. Like what HSBC done, innit?

“The industry has done many things wrong. It is important to remember that many ordinary bankers have always sought to provide good service to their customers; but we must also recognise that there have been too many who have profoundly damaged the industry’s reputation,” Stephen Green told The Times in March 2010. Perhaps this CofE Minister should now practice what he preaches, and resign forthwith. Otherwise Dave will be asking who can rid him of this troublesome priest.

And in other Religious News: WTF is leading Islamist apologist Mohammed Bari doing on the board of Locog?

74 thoughts on “EXCLUSIVE: How HSBC Drug-Lord money laundering points the finger at another senior Conservative

  1. Money laundering, fraud, tax evasion, impersonation and trolling. It is all here at The Slog.

    Will anyone take action? What are we going to do about all this.


  2. Why do you make so many silly mistakes. You talk of something happening “ten months before Green’s baronetcy came through.” If it was a baronetcy he would be a baronet, he would be Sir Stephen Green and he would not be in the Lords. It may seem trivial, like the absurd mistake about two tons of gold breaking a major investment bank. But slipshod errors on little things destroy credibility on the big stuff.


  3. So banking, government, corporate,and gangsters rule the world.
    A quadrangle of vested influence.
    Who’d ‘ave thought it eh?


  4. Will we never arrive at the bottom of this cesspit they all inhabit?
    Almost daily now are new revelations about just how badly the people at the top of banking, govt. and corporations are behaving whilst lying their socks off.
    And the worst of it?


  5. Hypocrisy does seem to have been a fairly well established attribute of the priesthood by (at least) the beginning of the 17th century.

    Nay, I prithee, put on this gown and this beard;
    make him believe thou art Sir Topas the curate: do
    it quickly; I’ll call Sir Toby the whilst.

    Well, I’ll put it on, and I will dissemble myself
    in’t; and I would I were the first that ever
    dissembled in such a gown.


  6. You used to be able to (probably still can) open an electronic account with Dutch or Icelandic banks electronically and additionally depositing a minimal cheque (one pound) drawn on a UK bug-five bank.


  7. Just saw this in the DT thought it might be good to share:
    ‘We live in interesting and uncertain times. We have over the past 20+ years distorted the global economy making money from nothing and pandering to the rich and powerful. It obviously has not worked. We have enough technology to ensure a decent life for every one of us 7 bn on this planet, we just lack the organisation and the will. This letting ourselves being controlled by the rich and powerful is the road to perdition. Time for something different. http://cd3wd.com. Alex Weir, Gaborone’


  8. Karma has been neutralised in the interests of public safety; too many accidents involving dogma, allegedly.


  9. Pingback: John Ward – Exclusive : How HSBC Drug-Lord Money Laundering Points The Finger At Another Senior Conservative – Trade & Investment Minister Stephen Green – How Could He Not Have Known? – 18 July 2012 | Lucas 2012 Infos

  10. My take of this is, HSBC got too big share of the drug money in Mexico, that pissed of the gringos, it’s their money after all, and Mr Slim and his his pals.
    HSBC Mexico is my bank, they are by far better in handling money coming in then any other bank, but they are really not interested in retail banking, their auto loans are 2% points higher then the dealer, and that’s just ridiculous.
    The dear gringos are as always going after the “aliens” instead of their own drug infused elites, not much different then the British, everybody look after their own.
    Nothing new here.


  11. Destroys credibility on the big stuff?

    Such as the fact this whole story is another tall tale:

    “against charges of money laundering for Mexican drug lords and Iranian bombers”

    They weren’t guilty of money laundering. They were guilty of not putting controls in place to stop money laundering. And HSBC was a first test case, indicating that probably all the international banks can’t be bothered to probe into where the money is coming from. I can understand this, because if they wasted their time wondering if the Mexican money came from drug barons they would probably only find out that all the money had come from a street-corner kebab kiosk. The whole thing is a sick American joke. Because the yanks can’t stop Mexicans selling Class A drugs on the streets of America despite apparently having the CIA and the FBI fully engaged in the “War on Drugs” they are trying to push UK banks into doing their work for them adn then express surprise when that doesn’t get anywhere. Perhaps if the US authorities are so interested in drug related corruption they should look closer at themselves, because it seems to me if ordinary citizens have no trouble finding drug dealers then the FBI should have no trouble finding drug dealers – unless of course they are corrupt and choose not to look in the right places?

    Once again JW shows a willingness to be led by the nose thanks to the MSM who are themselves in the hands of the power elite. Drugs get sold on the streets of the UK and the US because the streets are full of people with connections to drug producing countries who earn vast fortunes from selling drugs part of which are used to pay off corrupt policemen and other authorities. Then when you ask why they aren’t doing more to prevent serious crime they look up and tell you “well more people get killed on the roads so we prefer to spend our time nicking middle class businessmen going too fast on the M4”. It is so obvious it would be laughable if it weren’t so serious. Getting nasty with the banks for not investigating possible money laundering is a sideshow. What JW should do if he wants to achieve something is make a note of the names of the people responsible for this sideshow and then start joining the dots.


  12. A church.of England minister and banker running the Mexican bank for drug cartels (oops sorry HSBC).
    Dear oh dear the entire banking sector is tarnished with the same smelly brown brush. Osborne id resisting regulation along with.his pal Lord Flashman who opposes the.Financial transaction tax.
    Camrron knows full.well of the rotten stench.of wrongdoing down the crooked mile but.turns a bljndveye whilst donations roll.into Tory party coffers


  13. Tend to agree, but I tend to believe is what we need is more old thinking, not new thinking. We are trapped between the false dichotomy of Capitalism and Marxism. What we need is to go back to a time when we believed in something better. By the end of the Victorian era we had negligible crime, fewer children were in care than we have today, public health had improved dramatically and we were a nation with a plan and with strong self-belief.

    We have pissed that all away on foreign ideas that don’t fit with British culture and have never worked anywhere. We have become as corrupt as the third world at every level, overrun by the third world, immoral, disunited and lost. We no longer believe in something better, we have created false idols from pop-stars and soap stars and we consider our own beliefs and culture to be inferior to the beliefs and culture of Sikhs and Muslims. We cannot unite around a common idea or belief because we have no common ideas or beliefs and the common ideas and beliefs we once held are now considered shameful. The Gramscian socialists and Cultural Marxists have destroyed our belief in God, in country, in history, in our future, but have failed to replace any of these things with something credible. Insular, money grubbing, celebrity addicted advancement of our own families is the only future that seems remotely worthwhile. We have retraced our steps to being a third world culture with 1st world office space. We work every hour god sends to get into as much debt as possible to compete with our neighbours in a game of “who’s got the biggest house” and then having got to a bigger house we play the whole game again with our new neighbours until they beat us hands down. Then we sit back and wonder why we are stressed and depressed as our employers decide we are burnt out and useless and cast us aside.


  14. David Malone wrote a great piece on his blog In May last year which is relevant to this Here and which links the banks and the drug cartels in Romania and Spain. As we all know, banks are the same the world over.


  15. Oh yes there is. It is called: Death, Judgement, Heaven or Hell. You can have your heaven on earth and hell for eternity, or vice versa. There is a God!!


  16. @Just Sayin’: They could put a stop to the drugs trade if they wished to but, they don’t, it is an industry on it’s own and creates a healthy tax take when all the money is spent, which inevitably it is in the long run.
    I believe the only reason they haven’t legalised cannabis, is that with the ‘overhead’ and taxation, they would lose out on revenue, best leave as it is, more profitable for them that way.


  17. Israel Shamir, author of Flowers of Galilee
    and Pardes: An Etude in Cabbala, writes that
    The Jewish Revolutionary Spirit by the revolutionary Catholic E. Michael Jones is a long-waited-for revolt against Vatican
    II and Nostra Aetate with its disastrous philosemitic bias. This monumental book scoops two thousand years of troublesome
    relations between Christendom and the Jews, and endeavors to connect Jewish strategies of permanent revolution with the
    permanent Jewish rebellion against Christ (=Logos). This timely book may help to regain the lost balance between Judaic
    and Christian tendencies in the Western mind. Read this for your answer! http://www.culturewars.com


  18. Patently nonsensical to say they are only guilty of ‘not putting controls in place’! The Illuminati own the banks. The Illuminati own the CIA/MI6. Those two agencies control the global drug trade. The Illuminati own our governments which pass the laws criminalising marijuana. Filling our prisons, owned by the Illuminati, enabling them to make yet more money. Their greed is unconscionable. But their end is very near. Dec 21/2102 will see ALL jailed for their crimes. Thanks to the Galactic Federation.


  19. bigbwana, I’m sure that we all look forward to December 21. But do you mean 2012 or 2102? There’s a bit of a difference.


  20. I am no adept at the niceties of Debrett’s, but too much attention to the dress code could make you late for dinner. Here’s a little teaser for you, Daphne:

    Around 95% of the world’s derivatives are held by five institutions – which one of them is not American?


  21. As an aside, in the late 70’s I was awaiting a plane at La Guardia (New York) and wanted some light reading so I went to a small newstand in the terminal and noticed on the bottom shelf an Economist sized magazine with a cartoon of our Queen and a strap line saying that the monarchy was involved in the drugs trade.

    Being a sucker for a conspiracy theory I purchased and read the substantial article the theorised that British banks (remember in those days HSBC were the Hong Kong and Shanghai bank) were the bankers to the heroin trade and were willing and knowing facilitators as the trade was seasonal given the poppy harvests so the very large money flows leading/lagging those events were very obvious.

    Although the monarchy angle was never explained the argument that Banks were in the know so at the very least money launderers seemed to me valid given the agricultural genesis of both heroin and cocaine.

    So the Banks (world wide) in my opinion have ‘form’ add to that the disclosure that the money supply increase in the mid 80’s was partly explained by truck loads of $100 bills going to drug dealers to fund the anti Noriega campaign of the CIA/US military the Establishment has for too long spoken and acted with a very forked tongue on drugs.

    Whilst I am here I read an interesting ‘factoid’ that said Dennis Thatcher was a Nom-Dom for British Tax, as he was born in New Zealand and presumably persuaded the UK Tax Authorities that he and presumably patriotic Maggie were going to go to NZ!

    I thought it highly amusing and as it feeds into to pre-dispositions re Tatcher have decided it must be true without further research.


  22. Delaware, Delaware!

    They’re simply not aware!

    They won’t need paper and they won’t want proof

    probity goes out the window along with any prayer.

    Register as Mickey Rooney or even Mickey Mouse

    Your office help is Greta Garbo

    Your address is Fifteenth Avenue

    In the center of Manhattan

    Your accountant … Goldman Sachs.

    Delaware, Delaware!

    They’re simply not aware!

    Greta never gets the phone as

    Two bare wires are your extension

    Mickey’s mails they go unanswered

    as the server is unplugged.

    Those canny Yanks won’t get their man

    Your place is in the Hudson.

    Launder all your life, all above board.

    This is the American way of legalizing FRAUD!

    Delaware, Delaware!

    They’re simply not aware!

    **[With apologies to Poetry lovers]


  23. Hi Jon. Sorry. Typo, I meant 2012. And don’t forget to google the GF. I promise your day will be brightened. And all your loved ones when you spread the Light. We shall overcome the Dark!


  24. ‘absurd mistake about two tons of gold breaking a major investment bank’.
    Are you sure that wasn’t you trolling somewhere else?
    Pardon me for being lite on my Debretts. But slipshod errors do occur with 4 million villains and one member of staff.


  25. Just Sayin’
    I enjoy your comments, if only because they reassure me that mad people see tall tales where there iare evidential trails.
    Remember chum, those who can, blog: those who can’t, troll.


  26. Bonjiorno Gemz. Who do you think I am, mystic Meg! The world. as we know it, will change. the2012scenario; aquariouschannelings, ascensionearth2012, treeofthegoldenlight; will get you started. That’s a promise. And there are many more.


  27. I left a comment over at DT with a link to this article. The link has since been removed by the moderators. Likewise with other comments I saw at the DT. Yet again it seems The Slog has touched a nerve.

    John, I rarely get time to comment here, but always read your posts. You do an amazing job and I wanted to thank you, and to make sure you know the importance of what you’re doing.

    @ groundedkiwigroundedkiwi
    David Malone is indeed a person of impressive character (and a wonderful film maker too). We can only hope that people like him and John Ward get their voices heard.


  28. @Catholic and proud of it
    Can’t agree with you there. Death awaits us all, judgement for those that John is talking about means a bigger bonus or a new better job. Heaven and hell? Better see Belinda Carlisle about that one, there is No god/ certainly no proof that there is one! What’s the difference between John Wayne and Fr Brendan Smith( one of the catholic churches finest)?
    John Wayne will make your day, Brendan smith will make your hole weak! Are you really proud of it?


  29. Hong Kong Shanghai Bank. How did they start up? – Chinese Opium trade 1840’s, 1850’s. Nothing changes does it?

    And who took a blind eye to the Chinese Silver, Tea, Opium trade? Why….. H.M.’s government wasn’t it?


  30. For @JW below:
    My karma’s run over my dogma
    My dogma now rests in peace
    My karma’s run over my dogma
    Oh, bring back my dogma to me

    Bring back, bring back
    Bring back my dogma to me, to me
    Bring back, bring back
    Bring back my dogma to me


  31. Well, that seems a fair summary to me.
    I’m not too sure that the UK ever had a plan though-but we certainly believed in something better. Some of us (the majority?) still do but have no means to enact it.


  32. Trade Minister Lord Green ‘has serious questions to answer’ over HSBC money laundering
    UK Trade Minister Lord Green “has serious questions to answer” over his time running HSBC after the bank was forced to apologise before the US Senate for failing to stop a multi-billion-dollar laundering operation for drug gangs and terrorists.


  33. Reply Frank Enstein
    If by Fr Brendan Smyth you mean the paedophile priest, no he is one of the devil’s finest, but John Wayne died a Catholic, converted on his deathbed. Judgement that John is talking about…is heaven on earth. Christ didn’t promise us heaven on earth but the cross. We are commanded to follow him and live the cross, suffering as penance, in order to attain eternal life; heaven in eternity. As St Padre Pio said when challenged by an Italian woman that she didn’t believe in hell: You will when you get there. Ditto to those who don’t believe in God. I am totaly proud of my church, because that which he gave us through Jesus Christ and is guided by His Holy Spirit, is indefectable. He said that the gates of hell will not prevail against it, and the Church, the papacy has survived 2000 years and will survive till the end of times. He didn’t say that all those that call themselves Catholics will go to heaven, far from it. We are a church of sinners and saints. Fr Brendan Smyth is a terrible sinner and brings terrible stain and scandal on the church, but he could still be saved, because Christ is all merciful until our dying breath.


  34. The man in the frame over this money laundering nonsense is David Bagley, HSBC Global Compliance Officer, and he’s resigned following the US findings. There’s no mention of Stephen Green over at the Telegraph: http://click.email.telegraph.co.uk/?qs=d50c96377d6351009115bdfef481af00d7a0435ae04031d30b54f5e5513d4bd7 …perhaps they didn’t dig deep enough or perhaps they don’t see it as very relevant. hhmmm.

    The US is not demanding sanctions on Green. If he is/was so involved as you allege, why is that? If Green is/was guilty of anything it would be poor corporate governance during his time at HSBC, prior to joining the Conservative Party. We have very little in the UK by way of laws on holding senior execs accountable for this. Why is that? Who failed to pass the necessary laws?

    Sure, HSBC have been bad boys (imagine that – a bank doing bad things), but is this just another molehill being inflated into a mountain to smear the Conservative Party?


  35. The UK most certainly did not turn a blind eye to the opium trade with China. The UK forced China to accept the trade on the basis that free trade was right (not to mention the money it made for UK traders). The trade had previously been legal in China but was then prohibited by China because of the effects on the populace. Opium was one of British Indias major exports-and the economic effect on India of the prohibitin would have been damaging.


  36. Addendum: I see the Telegraph has another article about this (link posted by @kfc) where they quote an unnamed Labour Party Treasury “spokesperson” (sex uncertain) as challenging Lord Green over what he knew and when he knew it.


  37. Keeping your last point in mind if you do get to hell you get the red hot poker in the ass whereas if you go to heaven you get Brendan Smyth to greet you…. I think I will stay atheist thanks :-)


  38. Like I’ve said for many years; socialism destroys everything in its path. It is the evil cancer that lives among us.


  39. Hackney, like you I read all of JWs blogs, and admire his tenacity and the long hours , hard work he puts into keeping truth seekers informed. For me though JWs voice on the Israel/Palestine question leaves me cold. Israels population has the same divide as most of the M/East. A population majority that just wants to get along, run by crazy fundamentalists, with an agenda.


  40. Reeder

    Troll #35 “Cor, Reeder is clevver, int he? He uses long words an all. All I evver wanted to do was be clevver like him. I bet he knows what a letter 2 is … “


  41. Reply Frank Enstein 2

    We are all free agents to decide if we are atheists or not, and you, for the time being have made yours, fine. But re. Brendan Smyth and my last comment, everyone, yes Brendan Smyth, you and even Henry VIII who died a Catholic, have the ability despite everything that he has done to be reconciled into the Church and therefore gain eternity in heaven, but that ability is dependent on a profound penitence and contrition, which only God can judge, and then a period of time in Purgatory in expiation for those past sins before being admitted into heaven.


  42. ‘ere mate, you’re the one on the medication for depression and you’re calling other people MAD! you really have got a cheek. By the way, I would ask for a second opinion on your diagnosis if I were you. I have a brother-in-law with manic depression and some of these “streams of consciousness” threads you come up with sound exactly like the kind of thing he comes out with. Have you ever considered that delusions of being “on a mission” are a common symptom of the “manic” phase of bipolar disorder?


  43. Since 1965 only ONE baronetcy has been awarded: that was to the late Sir Denis Thatcher. Stephen Green was made a life peer in November 2010.


  44. BT
    On Channel 4 News, the Labour Party Treasury spokesperson was Christopher Leslie MP – your ‘sex uncertain’ point may actually be a lot closer than you think…..


  45. …Or you could do that for him, seeing as you’re not busy. join the dots that is.

    I do agree with your sentiment that the Drugs issue is more than just a spliff for the already brain dead. It has it’s own thread just waiting to be started…


  46. Now you’re talking! agree with every word – similar to one I wrote a few years ago… To a politician no less.


  47. So, anyway, we sent soldiers into Afghanistan to help the poor children and abused women folks, and to capture a bad man with a beard who scared the American children lots and lots AND he even said it was ok to kill people…
    ( no silly, not Tony Bliar)

    Some one else would suggest, some one who was over there, that the drug gangs were being protected and that the army was being used to sheild,unwittingly, drug barons – err terrorists. So would anyone like to tell me why no one else noticed the increased drug abuse in this country and the increase in Pakistani/Indian poor people who got rich quick who came into our country- to open shops and become puppet doctors who could barely speak English, and the one sided free trade with China? oops my bad this is me being a racist again tsk! smoke and mirrors. Drugs should be legal, if people want to blow their brains then let them – freedom of choice.
    It wasn’t that long ago traces of crack were found in the Parliament toilets! tsk With out drugs we wouldn’t have fine athletes to compete in the Olymprix…
    and without our upstanding gentry and holy priests – the drug barons would not have access to a decent banking net work… ahh the Great in Britain here to make Britain Great in Great Britain.


  48. Pingback: HSBC UNDER BARON GREEN: Senate sub-committee releases the full strength of criminality | A diary of deception and distortion

  49. Pingback: John Ward – HSBC Under Baron Green : Senate Sub-Committee Releases The Full Strenght Of Criminality – Wrongdoing At HSBC Was No Innocent Mistake. Green ‘Warned in 2005′ – 19 July 2012 | Lucas 2012 Infos

  50. Pingback: Infowars Wexford | HSBC UNDER BARON GREEN: Senate sub-committee releases the full strength of criminality

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