Money & Banking
India staff of HSBC under scanner in the US probe

Deficiencies were found in the quality of the work done by HSBC's 'offshore reviewers in India', who were used for clearing a major backlog of suspected transaction alerts at the bank


Washington: HSBC's staff in India have come under the scanner for deficiencies in their role as 'offshore reviewers' of the global banking giant's compliance to safety mechanism against money laundering and terrorist financing, reports PTI.
 
A probe by the US Senate's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations found that HSBC's Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Compliance Department, which included employees in India, was highly inadequately staffed.
 
Besides, deficiencies were found in the quality of the work done by HSBC's 'offshore reviewers in India', who were used for clearing a major backlog of suspected transaction alerts at the bank.
 
More than one-third of the alerts already resolved by the Indian reviewers and others 'had to be re-done' after an independent assessment by the OCC (the US Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, which is the bank's primary federal regulator in the country).
 
The probe further found that an OCC visit to India in 2007 had revealed "Weak Monitoring Procedures" in the bank's internal control systems.
 
At a hearing before the Senate Subcommittee on the matter here yesterday, HSBC apologised for its mistakes and gave its "absolute commitment" to fix the problems.
 
The 340-page investigation report, which was released yesterday, found HSBC to have used its US bank (HSBC US Bank or HBUS) as a gateway into the US financial system to provide US dollar services to clients while "playing fast and loose with US banking rules," Senator Carl Levin, the Chairman of the subcommittee, said.

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Retail inflation marginally down at 10.02% in June

Certain food items like vegetables turned costlier by 27.6%, followed by edible oils (16.58%) and milk products (12.75%) in June on annual basis


New Delhi: Retail inflation in India declined marginally to 10.02% in June mainly due to lower prices of sugar and non-alcoholic beverages, reports PTI.
 
Retail inflation, based on Consumer Price Index (CPI), was at 10.36% in May.
 
"Decline in retail inflation for urban areas in June 2012 as compared to May 2012 is attributed to higher base of the Housing Group index," Minister of State (Independent charge) for Statistics and Programme Implementation Srikant Kumar Jena said.
 
Provisional annual inflation of June 2012 for rural, urban and combined in respect of 'food and beverages' are 10.41%, 11.52% and 10.71% respectively, he said.
 
However certain food items like vegetables turned costlier by 27.6%, followed by edible oils (16.58%) and milk products (12.75%) in June on annual basis.
 
Prices of egg, fish and meat shot up by 11.65%, while pulses became costlier by 9.34%.
 
The decline in CPI along with wholesale price index (WPI) based inflation has raised some hope of rate cut by the Reserve Bank of India later this month to promote growth.
 
For June, WPI-based inflation dropped to 7.25% from 7.55% with easing prices of manufactured goods.
 
However experts said CPI numbers are still at elevated levels. They are in double digits which will dissuade RBI from cutting interest rate in policy review on July 31, they said.

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Water is must and cannot be abruptly cut off says Consumer Forum

The Forum, coming down heavily on Mira-Bhayander Municipal Corp asked it to restore the water connection of the CHS within 72 hours


Thane: The Thane District Consumer Redressel Forum has held that water connection to any consumer is essential and civic corporation cannot abruptly cut it off, reports PTI.
 
The forum came down heavily on Mira-Bhayander Municipal Corporation (MBMC) and ordered it to restore the water connection to the Bhayander-based Sai Anusuya cooperative housing society within 72 hours.
 
The society filed a complaint against the MBMC when its water connection was cut off because at the time of making an application for water connection, it had not informed the corporation about a civil suit pending in court against MBMC.
 
On 24 April 2012, the MBMC issued a notice stating that the society had in its application for water connection concealed the fact that there was a civil case pending against the corporation. Therefore, it had betrayed the corporation and hence cut off the water connection to the society.
 
However, the society, while approaching the forum on 22 May 2012, submitted before it that the suit was between the builder and the corporation and the society was not aware of it and informed about the hardships being faced by them and prayed for restoration of water supply.
 
The forum said the respondents ought to have obtained full information from the complainant before providing the connection. It had provided the connection based on the application and the agreement and the corporation was passing on the blame on the society and disconnected the water supply, which was illegal.
 
The MBMC cannot cut off the water connection, the forum said in its order issued on Monday.
 
As the corporation has for a long time without any action kept the supply going, therefore till the complaint is finally disposed off, it should keep one of the supplies on as it is an essential and emergency service, the forum said.

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