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HSBC Hires Ex-U.K. Spy Chief Evans to Bolster Oversight

Former Director-General of MI5 Jonathan Evans
Jonathan Evans, a former director-general of MI5, will join as a non-executive director in August, HSBC Holdings Plc said in a statement today. Photographer: Mark Waugh/Manchester Evening News/AFP via Getty Images

HSBC Holdings Plc hired a former head of Britain’s domestic intelligence agency to help oversee its compliance efforts after the bank was fined $1.92 billion for failings in its money-laundering controls.

Jonathan Evans, a former director-general of MI5, will join as a non-executive director in August, Europe’s largest bank said in a statement today. Evans, 55, will receive 125,000 pounds ($190,100) a year in the job, HSBC said.

He will also be a member of the lender’s Financial System Vulnerabilities Committee, a panel HSBC set up to tackle financial crime after it reached a settlement with regulators in December over claims that lax oversight by top executives gave terrorists and drug cartels access to the U.S. financial system. The group, whose members include former U.S. Deputy Attorney General James Comey, who may be nominated by President Barack Obama to become the next FBI director, gives guidance on anti-money laundering controls, tax transparency, and preventing terrorist financing.

“During his career, Sir Jonathan’s experience included counter-espionage, protection of classified information and the security of critical national infrastructure,” the London-based lender said in the statement. Evans was named head of MI5 in April 2007 and retired last month.

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