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The U.S. government ordered British Bank HSBC Holdings to strengthen its anti-money laundering practices after the financial institution was caught laundering more than 800 million dollars for Mexican drug cartels. The investigation of HSBC found that the bank covered up illegal transactions for Burma, Iran, Sudan, Cuba, and Libya—countries existing under banking sanctions due to human rights violations, terrorism, and nuclear programs. For a settlement, the bank had to pay $1.9 billion to the U.S. government—the largest fine in history. Although HSBC has anti-corruption programs in place, the bank worked with known drug cartels and helped other banks hide illegal transactions. In response, the U.S. government fined the company and set up a five-year monitoring program to oversee the company’s transactions. What types of ethical misconduct took place at HSBC Holdings? What consequences did HSBC face as a result of its ethical and illegal actions? Do you think the government’s settlement with HSBC will fix the bank’s ethical lapses? Why or why not? Reflect on this issue using the four lenses. What are your final thoughts?

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