Banks search for dollar alternatives

Duncan Kerr
Published on:

The ferocity with which US regulators have pursued HSBC, Standard Chartered, Barclays, ING and most recently BNP Paribas for breaching sanctions, and the seemingly limitless fines violators have been hit with, speaks to a tightening of control and intensive monitoring of dollar clearing.

This doesn’t mean that other currencies are not being vigorously policed, but there is a common view that the intensity with which US authorities are interpreting and enforcing rules preventing money laundering and terrorist funding is a couple of steps above and beyond other authorities.

Further reading
•  Clear & present danger
•  European banks weigh up US Dollar clearing options

Stories abound of US authorities making regular and unannounced visits to US banks and the New York offices of major foreign banks, where up to 20 regulatory officials crawl and pick over transactions day-in-day-out. This type of oversight, and on that scale, just isn’t happening elsewhere.