HSBC said today that it has agreed to pay US authorities a record 1.9 billion US dollars (£1.2 billion) settlement over accusations that it allowed rogue states and drug cartels to launder billions of pounds through its US arm.

The US Senate findings against HSBC, which accused the bank of ignoring warnings and breaching safeguards that should have stopped the laundering of money from Mexico, Iran and Syria, led to the resignation of head of compliance David Bagley.

The lender reached agreement with several US authorities including the US Department of Justice and expects to soon finalise a deal with the Financial Services Authority.

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HSBC group chief executive Stuart Gulliver said: "We accept responsibility for our past mistakes. We have said we are profoundly sorry for them, and we do so again."