Sunday, January 26, 2014

Bank Run?

This bears watching over the next several days. HSBC, one of the largest banks in the world, is in a bind.

Like most banks, some of its customers use it to launder money. U.S. regulators found that some HSBC employees were making it easier to launder money.

In response to ongoing pressure from regulators to better monitor movements of cash, HSBC has been blocking some large cash withdrawals.

This is probably a good idea. But to the extent that it freaks out customers, HSBC could have a big problem. The press coverage probably isn’t helping.

A run on HSBC would be a very big deal. And, since most of HSBC is non-U.S., it would be regulators in other countries that would have to manage this, not FDIC.

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