This is a significant step forward, hard won by financial campaigners. But who programmes the AI used to flag the money laundering? Hopefully not the kind of HSBC staff who oversaw the “regrettable mistakes” of 2012, as featured in the slide from my powerpoint chronology?
Although clearly HSBC has cleaned house since the embarassments of 2012, big questions arise. Can we rely on clever bankers often inculcated in a culture of greed to use AI for the benefit of society? Can we rely on governments like the UK’s – so dismal in its efforts to close down tax avoidance and evasion – to ensure that they do?