At least there’s no money-laundering here in HK

HSBC avoided the worst of the banking industry’s orgy of perverted lust over the last few years. Stupidly, it had previously diversified into US mortgage lending, which resulted in big losses in the 2008-09 crisis. But it wasn’t wiped out by exposure to credit default swaps, didn’t let some teenage rogue trader flush billions down the toilet, doesn’t appear to be owed much by Greece, and hasn’t so far been implicated in the LIBOR-fixing scandal (which has every small retail lender and half-bankrupt municipality in the Western world lining up for the class-action suit of the century).

The bad news: it has been caught helping terrorists, drug cartels and Syria. The bank’s pursuers were US regulators and senators, who it must be said are an excitable bunch of people prone to seeing crime and disaster wherever they look. And in the grand scheme of things, the sums involved are probably mere crumbs among the dirty money being laundered round the world. Yet even wild wonderful West Virginia, as unworldly and innocent a place as you will find, has been dragged into the disgrace.

Their actions, HSBC people plead, were inadvertent. This suggests that other institutions could well have been making the same mistakes, which implies another more-or-less LIBOR-scale scandal. Lawyers and real estate agents must be smirking as the banking industry’s reputation plumbs unknown depths.

Now the weird bit. Transfers of some funds that should have been prevented slipped through because HSBC’s automated detection system ignored… spelling mistakes. The world’s most international, global, we-know-every-culture-inside-out financial institution could spot money flowing to or from ‘Rangoon’ but not ‘Yangon’? And yet to and from ‘Myanmar’ but not ‘Mynmar’? The Windows 95 edition of MS Word could have done it.

And the bad news continues. For a short while back there, it seemed that there really was a God, and Hong Kong would not be cursed with the overblown, semi-fascistic bore-fest that is the Olympics on broadcast TV. Now, the ever-sadistic Commerce Secretary Greg So brutally forces the city’s viewers to watch hundreds of hours of over-trained, doped-up halfwits running round in circles and jumping into swimming pools for national glory. Two weeks in a cave beckon.

Click to hear the Velvet Underground’s ‘Run Run Run’!
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21 Responses to At least there’s no money-laundering here in HK

  1. Real Wax Layer says:

    OMG, don’t tell me the Olympics is going to pre-empt Dolce Vita, Police Report and that Guangdong Greenbelt puff piece for two whole weeks!

  2. Geraldo says:

    HSBC always seem to spot spelling errors on any transactions coming into OUR account!

  3. Gazza says:

    I think all HSBC shareholders should surrender the past ten years’ dividends to the Treasury immediately.

    HSBC: Hongkies Serve Brutal Criminals

  4. delboy says:

    Yes. Every time I see some halfwits pounding around some track or playing field, and getting paid obscene amounts of money to do so…………I think to myself.

    Get a fucking job you wankers.

  5. maugrim says:

    Still silence about the bags of cash being brought over the border each day to be laundered. I know the Police know, they were the ones who told me lol.

  6. Vile says:

    It was certainly a shock to shareholders to hear about HSBC’s involvement with drug cartels and rogue states. Who knew they were dealing with the CIA, and why didn’t they put a stop to it?

  7. darovia says:

    Everything HSBC has done in the US has turned to sh** – think of Household, etc. Perhaps if they are to remain there they should change the name of their US operation to Apple Pie Bank so it doesn’t sound too Chinese for US politicos.

  8. Mary Hinge says:

    HSBC – Helps Syrians, Bandits, Cartels … How Stupidly Bloody Corrupt … Hopeless Spellchecker Betrays Cluelessness …

  9. Real Tax Payer says:

    In view of Hemlock’s todays blog I think it’s worthwhile to repeat what I wrote yesterday

    “The USA has just recently become “officially” aware that a critical item of equipment in nuclear centrifuges for uranium enrichment in Iran has all these past few years been made and sold by an American company (surprise surprise) , despite the fact that pics of this particular American-made item have been available for years on google images – and even youtube. And what does the USA do ? They arrest the Chinese salesman whom the USA manufacturer allowed to sell the things to Iran and make him the fall guy. No mention of his USA bosses being arrested despite the fact it takes an IQ of only room temperature to realize that the thousands of these things being sold to China were obviously being re- exported to Iran ( or N. Korea, or both) ”

    Thus once again the Yanks take it out on the Chinks, except that now it’s HK Chinks ( and a few gweilos as well). Grovel grovel at the feet of Uncle Sam

    Oh yes … the “No money laundering thing in HK from China ” which the HK govt openly connives at . No need to carry bags of the RMB across the border. That’s old hat. Just go to a licensed money changer in HK. He will give you the number of a China Bank account in China. Transfer your millions of RMB to that account by internet banking from your own China Bank account in China, agree an exchange rate, and lo and behold 30 minutes later the equivalent in HK$ appears in your whatever Bank account in HK. ( I got the shock of my life when I found out how easy it was to arrange , and a friendly bank manager I know even admitted it was faster and more efficient than the HK banks can arrange ) .

  10. Headache says:

    So, you’re still running Windows 95 then?

    I’d watch the Olympics if they were still nude.

  11. Sarf Lundener says:

    Dont need Olympics tickets….If I want to watch a bunch of foreigners on drugs running around I just need to walk around south London…

  12. Stephen says:

    HSBC are one of those few companies, like Cathay Pacific, that I have studiously tried to avoid having any business with. Smug, arrogant, overly bureaucratic and shite service describe my few forced dealings with them. Then I sit through nauseating TV commercials telling me how good they are (not). Couldn’t be happier they have been caught and, for once, I await David Eldon’s next pep talk with interest?

    Now that’s JP Morgan, Barclays and now HSBC in the space of a few weeks continuing their business as usual approach to illegality and / or incompetence just 4 years after they made a creditable attempt to blow up the world economy and yet the prisons are not filled with Bankers ! Why?

  13. Real Tax Payer says:

    @ Headache

    Try NOW TV channel 901. You have to be an Olympian to keep it up the length of time those Jap porn actors can do . And it’s all in the nude.

  14. Bela awakes says:


    1. Moanin’ ‘n’ Groanin’

    2. Pushin’ ‘n’ Shovin’

    3. Wheelin’ ‘n’ Dealin’

    4. Scrapin’ ‘n’ Savin’

    5. F-in ‘n’ Blindin’

    6. Er…

    7. That’s it.

  15. Aghast says:

    Guess who’s just announced they’re standing for Legco. Go on, guess.

  16. Real Tax Payer says:

    Surely not the Kwok brothers……?

  17. John Terry's big mouth says:

    How about spending an obscene amount of money watching big burly men knocking a pigskin around a field every Saturday night? And being told afterwards they don’t give a ass about the fans.

  18. Headache says:

    @ Reel Sex Gazer, thanks for (just) the tip.

  19. Claw says:


    you pay for porn ?!!

  20. Real Tax Payer says:

    @ Claw : I didn’t say that I pay. But some obviously do

    (Seems the tycoons even have porn tied up in HK : Richard Li aka Mr PCCW owns NOW TV)


    BTW: as a late night thought – isn’t it ironic that the two biggest countries in the world that were born out revolutions which overthrew despotic rulers : i.e. China and Russia, are now the most reluctant to support similar revolutions in the Middle East , latest case being Syria ? Or am I missing something here ?

  21. Regislea says:

    Re HSBC – almost impossible to open an account if you’re starting a business in HK – they once bounced a cheque of mine, not for lack of funds but because the words and figures did not agree by 40 cents -and that mistake – mine admittedly – cost me a $1000 penalty – did no-one there use any imagination? (clearly not!) – can’t get at my sterling in my HK account through an ATM when traveling in UK (the world’s local bank) – can’t send sterling from a UK branch into my HK account – no sweep facility between your account so that if you overdraw in one (say your 883) you get a nasty letter (and a charge of $100) even if you have millions in another – say your 001.

    On and on and on. Bunch of wankers! And why haven’t they had the balls to kick those One percent idiots out months ago – most of the time there was no-one their anyway.

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