Bank shares slide on report of rampant money laundering

AP – The financial sector was hit hard on Monday following a report alleging that a number of banks — JPMorgan, HSBC, Deutsche Bank and Bank of New York Mellon among them — have continued to profit from illicit dealings with disreputable people and criminal networks despite previous warnings from regulators.

According to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), leaked government documents show that the banks continued moving illicit funds even after being warned of potential criminal prosecutions. The documents were obtained by BuzzFeed News and shared with the ICIJ.

The report compounded a massive sell-off across global markets because of gloom and doom over COVID-19 infections and the economic damage from the pandemic.

The consortium reported that documents indicate that JPMorgan moved money for people and companies tied to the massive looting of public funds in Malaysia, Venezuela and the Ukraine. The bank also processed more than USD50 million in payments over a decade for Paul Manafort, the former campaign manager for United States (US) President Donald Trump, according to the documents, which are known as the FinCEN Files.

Shares of JP Morgan closed three per cent lower on Monday.