UK fines HSBC bank for not going far enough to protect deposits in case it collapsed

LONDON (AP) — HSBC, Europe’s biggest bank, has been fined 57.4 million pounds ($72.8 million) for failing to adequately protect customer deposits in the event that the bank collapsed, U.K. regulators said Tuesday.

Two units of London-based HSBC Holdings Plc violated rules designed to ensure regulators have the information they need to protect depositors when banks fail, said Britain’s Prudential Regulation Authority, which is part of the Bank of England.

The penalty is the second-biggest ever imposed by the agency, behind only the 87 million pound fine last July against Credit Suisse following the Swiss bank’s near-collapse and emergency takeover by rival UBS.

The HSBC violations, which occurred between 2015 and 2022, included a failure to accurately identify deposits eligible for protection under a U.K. program that guarantees bank deposits up to 85,000 pounds ($107,800) for individuals, the bank regulator said.

“The serious failings in this case go to the heart of the PRA’s safety and soundness objective,” Sam Woods, chief executive of the Prudential Regulation Authority, said in a statement. “It is vital that all banks comply fully with our requirements around preparedness for resolution.”

HSBC cooperated with the investigation and agreed to settle the case, the authority said. Without this cooperation, the fine would have been 96.5 million pounds ($122.4 million).

The bank said it was “pleased” to resolve the matter.

“The PRA’s final notice recognizes the Bank’s co-operation with the investigation, as well as our efforts to fully resolve these issues,” HSBC said in a statement.

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