MICHAEL Noonan has given his backing to two former HSBC executives now in senior roles here after the men were named in a US Senate report that claimed lax controls at the bank left the US financial system exposed to drug cartels and rogue states.
The chairman of state owned AIB David Hodgekinson and Minister Noonan’s top advisor on NAMA Michael Goeghegan were among the most senior executives at HSBC during the period investigated by the US authorities.
Yesterday Michael Noonan said he believes there is nothing in the US report would call into question the suitability of either man for their current Irish roles.
The former HSBC chief executive Michael Geoghegan is an Irish person with experience abroad who voluntarily acts as an unpaid advisor in relation to NAMA, Michael Noonan said.
“I am quite comfortable there is nothing in the report that would change that position,” the minister told reporters yesterday.
In relation to the AIB chairman the Minister said that the Central Bank, as financial regulator, is responsible for assessing the suitability of bank directors, including Mr Hodgekinson, through its “fitness and probity” regime.
No issues had been raised by the Regulator following the HSBC report, the minister said.
It comes after a US Senate report said HSBC, the world’s second largest bank, had failed to enforce anti-money laundering laws over a number of years during the last decade.
According to the report HSBC left the US financial system exposed to Mexican drug gangs and rogue nations such as Iran.
This week HSBC apologised for the failures.
Its top US executive told US authorities that the banks compliance history was unacceptable