Internal compliance inertia leads to SEC fines for HSBC

$12.5 million fine for cross border activities with US clients

Securities and Exchange Commission headquarters

HSBC's Switzerland-based private banking arm has been fined $12.5 million by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) after the regulator found it broke federal securities laws. The bank admitted to wrongdoing by failing to register with the SEC before providing cross-border brokerage and investment advisory services to US clients.

According to a press release and order document released by the SEC, HSBC Private Bank and its predecessor entities (HSBC Private Bank (Legacy) and HSBC

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