Plan on how the banks will get out of the suits from soldiers. Also France tells HSBC to post a billion euro bond. Like they’re gonna’ grab a passport and book a flight to Argentina.
4/6 – Alison Frankel at Reuters – How Western banks hope to shake ex-U.S. soldiers’ Iran terror suit – Previously mentioned lawsuit by a number of US soldiers who were wounded by IEDs in Iraq. They allege the banks were providing the banking services used in turn to fund the terrorists who in turn wounded them.
A sixth bank, Commerzbank, has been added to the suit. They join HSBC, Standard Chartered, Credit Suisse, RBS, and Barclays.
There is a secondary issue which I wasn’t aware of but which makes sense. Soldiers can’t sue for injuries that are ‘acts of war.’
The major issue, which is a biggie, is that the soldiers will have to directly link the illegal banking services to the attacks. The issue is ‘proximity’.
The legal arguments are a bit over my head, but I’ll try a paraphrase. Providing services to a company or country does not make the banker liable for things the customer does.
The analogy to me is that the lender funding your purchase of a car is not liable to me when you run a red light and injure me. The bank had nothing to do with your negligence.
Likewise, providing wire services to Iran (even if knowingly illegal) would not create liability for bad stuff that government does; at least that is my understanding of the argument to be made by the banks.
Seems to me like that is a pretty strong argument.
As I mentioned earlier, seems to me the soldiers will have a rough time proving their case.
4/10 – The FCPA Blog – France imposes €1 billion bail on HSBC for criminal tax probe – That’s a billion, sixty million bucks. France has opened a criminal probe over the HSBC sub that has been getting all the news for laundering money. Company press release is here.
I guess they will have to wire cash. There isn’t a bail bondsman on the planet that will touch that one. On the other hand, it isn’t like HSBC can skip town.
What is HSBC going to do? Seek asylum in Russia?