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July 11, 2016

House Financial Services Committee Report on HSBC: Shining a Light on the Too-Big-To-Jail Double Standard for Global Banks Like HSBC

Monday, July 11, 2016
Contact: Nick Jacobs, 202-618-6430 or

Washington, D.C. – Dennis Kelleher, President and CEO of Better Markets, issued this statement following the release of a report by the House Financial Services Committee examining the Justice Department’s settlement with HSBC:

“Today’s report by the House Financial Services Committee on the deferred-prosecution agreement the Department of Justice (DOJ) entered with HSBC is just the latest proof that powerful banks get special treatment: favorable terms because of self-serving, unsubstantiated claims that real accountability could harm the global economy. We already knew that, despite HSBC’s flagrant criminal conduct, not a single executive was held accountable. But now we know that DOJ also gave HSBC‘s executives the ultimate sweetheart deal: release from individual liability and protection of their bonuses even if they continue to violate the law.

“The too-big-to-fail global banks like HSBC and their bankers have been breaking the law and getting sweetheart deals for too long. While the settlements feature headline-grabbing, big-dollar numbers, they fail to include real punishment because bankers use shareholders’ money to buy themselves get-out-of-jail-free cards. This too-big-to-jail double standard is indefensible and undermines the faith of the American people in our justice system. 

“The report’s revelations are yet another powerful reminder that we must all unite and demand an end to sweetheart settlements without individual accountability for too-big-to-fail banks and bankers. Ending this disreputable practice and restoring the rule of law, however, is not and should not be a partisan issue or exploited for partisan gain.” 


Better Markets is a non-profit, non-partisan, and independent organization founded in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis to promote the public interest in the financial markets, support the financial reform of Wall Street and make our financial system work for all Americans again. Better Markets works with allies – including many in finance – to promote pro-market, pro-business and pro-growth policies that help build a stronger, safer financial system that protects and promotes Americans’ jobs, savings, retirements and more. To learn more, visit

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