HSBCHSBC will pay 1.9 billion US dollars (£1.2 billion) to settle a money-laundering probe by US federal and state authorities into Europe's biggest bank, officials have said.

The UK-based bank will pay 1.25 billion dollars (£777 million) in forfeiture and 655 million dollars (£407 million) in civil penalties, the American sources said.


The 1.25 billion dollar figure is the largest forfeiture ever in a case involving a bank.

Under what is known as a deferred prosecution agreement, the bank will be accused of violating the Bank Secrecy Act and the Trading With the Enemy Act.

The London-based bank says it is co-operating with investigations but that those discussions are confidential.

The probe into the bank - Europe's largest by market value - has focused on the transfer of billions of pounds on behalf of nations like Iran, which are under international sanctions, and the transfer of money through the US financial system from Mexican drug cartels.

The US source said an official announcement on the agreement could come on Tuesday.

In regard to HSBC and Mexico, a US Senate investigative committee reported that in 2007 and 2008 HSBC Mexico sent to the United States about 7 billion dollars (£4.3 billion) in cash. The committee report said that amount of cash indicated illegal drug proceeds.