July 16, 2012
E.J. Fagan, +1 202 293 0740 ext. 227
WASHINGTON, DC – The FACT Coalition will host a joint press conference on Tuesday, July 17th following the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigation’s hearing “U.S. Vulnerabilities to Money Laundering, Drugs, and Terrorist Financing: HSBC Case History.”
Three anti-money laundering experts representing Global Financial Integrity, Global Witness, and special guest Dennis M. Lormel, former Chief of the FBI’s Terrorist Financing Operations Section, Counterterrorism Division, will answer questions that arise from the hearing.
The hearing is expected to expand on the details revealed in the May 3, 2012 Reuters article, “Special Report: Documents allege HSBC money-laundering lapses.” In its report, Reuters referred to documents obtained by a Department of Justice investigation which, “paint a damning portrait of a bank allegedly unable, and unwilling, to police itself or its clients.”
Heather Lowe, Legal Counsel and Director of Government Affairs at Global Financial Integrity, commented on the upcoming hearing, stating that “We have seen U.S. bank after U.S. bank involved in facilitating or turning a blind eye to criminal money coming in their doors, including the proceeds of corruption, terrorist financing and drug money. Penalties that have been handed out by U.S. regulators have paled in comparison to the amount of money that has been laundered through banks.”
“This hearing is as much about regulatory oversight of the banking sector as a whole as it is about HSBC’s alleged facilitation of criminal activity,” said Stefanie Ostfeld, a Policy Advisor with Global Witness. “Hopefully, this hearing will prompt a proper law enforcement response, including appropriate jail time, for banks and individuals who are proved to be involved in this type of criminal activity.”
Dennis M. Lormel, President and CEO of DML Associates, and former Chief of the Terrorist Financing Operations Section in the Counterterrorism Division of the FBI, added “Getting our anti-money laundering house in order is essential to combating global organized crime and terror.”
Press Conference Details
Where: Mott House, 122 Maryland Avenue NE, Washington, DC (Across the street from the Dirksen Senate Office Building)
When: 3:00 PM, or, if the hearing concludes after 2:30 PM, 30 minutes after the conclusion of the hearing.
- Heather Lowe, Legal Counsel and Director of Government Affairs, Global Financial Integrity
- Stefanie Ostfeld, Policy Advisor, Global Witness
- Dennis M. Lormel, President and CEO of DML Associates, LLC, and former Chief of the FBI’s Terrorist Financing Operations Section, Counterterrorism Division.
Light refreshments will be served.
E.J. Fagan (Global Financial Integrity)
202-293-0740 ext. 227
Stefanie Ostfeld (Global Witness)
Notes for Editors:
- Global Witness and Global Financial Integrity are members of the Task Force on Financial Integrity and Economic Development, an international group of NGOs and governments committed to tackling illicit financial flows worldwide.
- Read Heather Lowe’s speech, Players: The Role of Facilitators and Super-Fixers, given on June 25th, 2012 before The Center for Complex Operations at the National Defense University, Washington DC, here.
- Read Global Witness’ report Undue Diligence on how banks do business with corrupt regimes, here.
Global Financial Integrity (GFI) is a Washington, DC-based research and advocacy organization which promotes transparency in the international financial system.
For additional information please visit www.gfintegrity.org.