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HSBC wins approval of record $1.92 billion money-laundering settlement

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HSBCA federal judge has approved HSBC Holdings Plc's (HSBA.L)(HBC.N) record $1.92 billion settlement with federal and state investigators of charges that it flouted rules designed to stop money laundering and thwart transactions with countries under U.S. sanctions.

While noting "heavy public criticism" of the settlement, which enabled HSBC to escape criminal prosecution, U.S. District Judge John Gleeson in Brooklyn, New York, called the decision to approve the accord "easy, for it accomplishes a great deal."

Gleeson ruled on Monday after more than six months of review, rejecting arguments by the U.S. government and HSBC that federal judges lacked "inherent authority" over the approval or implementation of so-called "deferred prosecution agreements."

The settlement, announced December 11, 2012, included a $1.256 billion forfeiture and $665 million in civil fines.

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