I could kiss both Mr Shah and the senior management of HSBC, I really could. This case has been so interesting to follow, and generated so much discussion during my training sessions and workshops – and still it continues. In the latest development, Mr Shah is appealing against the original decision – that HSBC did what the law required them to do, not perfectly, but well enough to satisfy the court – and so HSBC has been required to submit its SARs (internal and external) to the court. When it did so, it redacted some details – specifically, the names of all employees involved except that of their MLRO, Michael Wigley, on the basis that “the identities of any other employees are both irrelevant and/or should not be disclosed for reasons of public interest immunity.” In a hearing on 24 June 2011, the Hon Mr Justice Coulson was asked to decide on the matter.
I know I’m a bit strange when it comes to matters money laundering, but I found the decision a totally riveting and compelling read. Back and forth it went – no to redaction, yes to confidentiality – until a decision was reached. It’s too exciting, and you’ll have to read it yourself: http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/QB/2011/1713.html. For my part, I’m adding HHJ Coulson to my Christmas card list.