Former HSBC boss Lord Green today admitted that it should've done more due diligence ahead of its purchase of its Swiss private banking arm.
Green, who was the bank's chief executive between 2003 and 2006 and as its chairman between 2006 and 2010, told members of the Lords' economic affairs committee neither he nor the senior management team had been aware of the problems at Swiss Private Bank.
"With the benefit of hindsight, it would have been better to have drilled into the detail much earlier. We didn’t get everything right," he said.
HSBC was engulfed in a scandal at the beginning of this year amid allegations that its Swiss private banking arm had helped wealthy clients avoid paying taxes several years ago.
Green also came under fire regarding accusations the the bank had allowed Mexican drug cartels, terrorists and governments on sanction lists launder money. It was fined $1.9bn by US authorities in 2012 after a senate investigation found it had helped these actors move money around the financial system.
On this he said: "It is very clear we didn't get it right and I apologise for that."