The Worst Banks and how one got away

If the Occupy Wall Street protesters want to target a single big bank, which should they choose? One bank – HSBC – took huge losses after buying predatory lender Household International. HSBC, headquartered in London, is not on this list.

The following is an excerpt from a professionally written article by Gary Rivlin published in The Daily Beast. In fact Gary posed the original question. After watchdogging HSBC, Household International, and many other alleged crooks for many years, the question does not have an easy answer.

The decision wouldn’t be easy, given the bad behavior of the country’s biggest brand-name banks. We look at the country’s four largest—Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, and Wells Fargo—and throw in Goldman Sachs, a natural target of any protest. Here’s a taste of the deadliest sins committed by the banks, followed by a full account of all the gory details at each bank. Warning: It isn’t pretty

The Seven Deadliest Sins of the Big Banks

1. JPMorgan Chase kicks 54 military families out of their homes—despite a law against doing so.

2. Wells Fargo gives bonuses to loan officers to put minority borrowers into high-priced subprime mortgages—internally dubbed “ghetto loans.”

3. Citigroup, Bank of America, and Goldman Sachs all pay huge fines to settle charges they duped their own clients.

4. Goldman Sachs assists in Europe’s economic collapse by helping Greece mask the truth about its finances.

5. JPMorgan turns a blind eye to Bernie Madoff’s deceptions.

6. Bank of America pays $137 million to settle government claims it rigged the municipal-bond market.

7. Despite these and other unpardonable sins, banks showers tens of millions of dollars in bonus money on top executives.

I’ve been writing about HSBC, and Household International before that, for over 12 years. Many HSBC employees spoke to me over the years and our first website “Household Watch“, confirms what many of them said or suspected.

International banking regulations, combined with the fact that HSBC is basically leaving the United states, means HSBC is not on the list above, although perhaps the bank should be.