When a company has repeated trouble with a particular department, it’s time to make a change. Global bank HSBC has had repeated problems with its compliance department, and has decided that now is the time to make a few adjustments to the way it handles these matters. 

In 2012, HSBC agreed to a record settlement with U.S. regulators over a money-laundering matter, and in October 2013, the chief compliance officer of HSBC USA stepped down. In the wake of these events, the bank has decided to alter its current compliance model.

First, it has restructured its compliance functions, separating financial crime compliance from other compliance areas. This essentially eliminates the position of chief compliance officer, dividing those responsibilities among multiple jobs. The former CCO of HSBC had reported to chief executive Irene Dorner, but now, the heads of the compliance functions will instead report to chief risk officer Marc Moses.

“By aligning HSBC USA more tightly with the HSBC global model, we are embedding Financial Crimes Compliance and other compliance units into the U.S. risk organization,” HSBC spokesman Rob Sherman said in a statement to The Wall Street Journal. “Structural changes in the short term are a normal part of the process as we develop the compliance function we need for the long term.”


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