As it turns out, ING Bank Śląski’s shares fell by 9% this Monday. The securities of its parent company ING Groep fell by even more than 10 percent during the Amsterdam session, while HSBC’s shares fell by more than 6 percent in London. Earlier it was a 5.3% decrease in Hong Kong, which was the lowest result in 25 years Deutsche Bank’s securities, on the other hand, lost more than 8% in Frankfurt. As it turns out, this was the market’s reaction to the publication by Buzz News and other media of documents collected by the International Consortium of Inquiry Journalists (ICIJ), which concern suspicious transactions conducted through many of the world’s leading banks.
However, this is not the only reason for the price drop. It must frankly be said that investor sentiment has fallen due to the risk of another Coronavirus lockdown in the UK. According to reports from various sources, the shares of HSBC have fallen mainly because said bank could be penalized by China due to its cooperation with the US public prosecutor in the Huawei case. In the ICIJ investigation, over the span of 16 months nearly 110 editors from 88 countries have analyzed over 2.6 thousand documents from the Financial Crime Enforcement Network (FinCen) — the US Treasury Department’s investigation office. All these documents were related to transactions between 1999 and 2017 for a total of USD 2 trillion. These are, in fact, transactions that have been reported to FinCen as suspicious by the Compliance departments of financial institutions. However, this is not clear evidence of crime. In the past, banks sometimes reported suspicious transactions even a few years after they were booked. The banks most frequently found in these reports are: HSBC, JPMorgan Chase, Deutsche Bank, Standard Chartered and Bank of New York Mellon. We can find out that Standard Chartered transferred funds from the Dubai Al Zarooni Exchange, which was accused of money laundering for the Taliban. Moreover, the Hong Kong HSBC division accepted transactions from the US financial pyramid WCM777. JPMorgan Chase and Bank of New York Mellon were used by institutions affiliated with North Korea. According to the reports, JPMorgan Chase also conducted transactions allegedly involved with corruption and with companies from countries such as Ukraine, Venezuela and Malaysia. Many banks featured in the documents say that these are issues from years ago and, today, mechanisms to combat money laundering are definitely improved.