UK: Big banks were assumed to be 'grown ups in the room' — ICIJ reporter on FinCen files

International Consortium of Investigative Journalists' (ICIJ) senior reporter and Europe partnership coordinator Simon Bowers, commented on the leaked Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) files on banks approving «dirty» money flows of more than $2 trillion (€1.7 trillion) for 18 years, in Twickenham on Monday. «It was very fascinating to see huge money flows through the biggest banks you can think of,» he said, mentioning Deutsche Bank and HSBC, among other major banks that were investigated, before adding, «These are the banks that you sort of believe are sort of the grown-ups in the room.» The investigation which involved ICIJ and over 100 media partners took 16 months and discovered major banks being involved in approving dubious money transfers, ignoring warnings from its' systems, and without receiving necessary information on transfers. HSBC and Barclays, two of the UK's biggest banks allegedly allowed millions to be sent around the world by scammers despite being tipped off by regulators, according to leaked files. Both the HSBC and Barclays buildings in Canary Wharf could be seen in London, on Monday, as the allegations emerged. The FinCEN files, a series of leaked documents obtained by BuzzFeed News and shared with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, reports that HSBC and Barclays were among several international banks to play a key role in facilitating suspicious money transactions around the world. The allegations go back as far as twenty years. International banks among which JPMorgan, Deutsche Bank, Standard Chartered were also cited in the leaked documents. Shares have also dropped 4 percent for both Barclays and HSBC. The leaks come amid news that Lloyds and Barclays banks have closed thousands of accounts of customers residing in the EU.

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