UK banking giant HSBC has reportedly been identified as the financial institution accused of possible criminal complicity relating to allegations of money laundering involving the Gupta family.
According to a TimesLIVE report, local banks Nedbank and Standard Bank were allegedly used as intermediaries, as HSBC did not have the relevant foreign exchange licences.
British MP Peter Hain on Tuesday asked the country’s chancellor of the exchequer (finance minister), Philip Hammond, to refer HSBC to regulators for an investigation into possible involvement in alleged money laundering involving the controversial family.
Hain is a South African-born and educated former anti-apartheid activist.
His letter to Hammond, dated October 31, 2017, reportedly provides details of money transfers made by the Guptas over the past few years from their SA bank accounts held with HSBC to accounts held by the same bank in Dubai and Hong Kong.
Hain said some of the Guptas’ transactions were legitimate, but not all of them were above board.
He informed Hammond he had been informed that HSBC had identified some suspicious transactions internally, but that its headquarters in the UK gave instructions to ignore this.
“That is a major breach of FCA [Financial Conduct Authority] practice, which I am sure you would never countenance, and is an incitement to money laundering, which has self-evidently occurred in this case and also been sanctioned by HSBC as part of [the] flagrant robbery of South African taxpayers of many millions,” Hain’s letter stated.
Speaking on Wednesday in the upper house of the British parliament, the House of Lords, Hain claimed he had been given the documents by a whistleblower.