By Yifan Wang 

Shares of HSBC Holdings PLC and Standard Chartered PLC dropped in Asian trading Monday following media reports overnight that the two banks and others moved suspected illicit funds despite red flags about their origins.

The allegations, made by U.S. news outlet BuzzFeed News in collaboration with global news organizations including the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, are based on leaked documents relating to more than $2 trillion of transactions mostly between 2011 and 2017.

The documents, known as suspicious activity reports, were filed by banks and other financial firms with the U.S. Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, or FinCEN, about transactions they believe could be part of financial crimes, such as money laundering.

"We take our responsibility to fight financial crime extremely seriously and have invested substantially in our compliance programs," Standard Chartered told The Wall Street Journal. HSBC didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

HSBC shares fell as much as 4.4% to HK$29.60, their lowest level since 1995. StanChart's stock lost up to 3.8% to HK$35.80, a four-month low.

Shares of both lenders have been knocked lower in recent weeks amid investor concerns about dim prospects for revenue growth given deteriorating global economies.


Write to Yifan Wang at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

September 21, 2020 01:23 ET (05:23 GMT)

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