FILE This is a Monday, Feb. 27, 2012 file photo of a pedestrian passes a branch of HSBC bank in London. HSBC avoided a legal battle that could further savage its reputation and undermine confidence in the global banking system by agreeing Tuesday Dec. 11, 2012 to pay $1.9 billion to settle a U.S. money-laundering probe. Europe's largest bank by market value will pay the biggest penalty ever imposed on a bank after facing accusations it transferred funds through the U.S. from Mexican drug cartels and on behalf of nations such as Iran that are under international sanctions. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, File)

Associated Press
FILE This is a Monday, Feb. 27, 2012 file photo of  a pedestrian passes a branch of HSBC bank in London.  HSBC avoided a legal battle that could further savage its reputation and undermine confidence in the global banking system by agreeing Tuesday Dec. 11, 2012 to pay $1.9 billion to settle a U.S. money-laundering probe. Europe's largest bank by market value will pay the biggest penalty ever imposed on a bank after facing accusations it transferred funds through the U.S. from Mexican drug cartels and on behalf of nations such as Iran that are under international sanctions. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, File)
FILE This is a Monday, Feb. 27, 2012 file photo of a pedestrian passes a branch of HSBC bank in London. HSBC avoided a legal battle that could further savage its reputation and undermine confidence in the global banking system by agreeing Tuesday Dec. 11, 2012 to pay $1.9 billion to settle a U.S. money-laundering probe. Europe's largest bank by market value will pay the biggest penalty ever imposed on a bank after facing accusations it transferred funds through the U.S. from Mexican drug cartels and on behalf of nations such as Iran that are under international sanctions. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, File)
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