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UK regulator steps up compliance rules for HSBC

FILE This is a Monday, Feb. 27, 2012 file photo of a pedestrian passes a branch of HSBC bank in London. HSBC avoided a legal battle that could further savage its reputation and undermine confidence in the global banking system by agreeing Tuesday Dec. 11, 2012 to pay $1.9 billion to settle a U.S. money-laundering probe. Europe's largest bank by market value will pay the biggest penalty ever imposed on a bank after facing accusations it transferred funds through the U.S. from Mexican drug cartels and on behalf of nations such as Iran that are under international sanctions. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, File)

LONDON (AP) -- Britain's financial regulator says it is taking steps to force HSBC to improve its legal compliance after the bank agreed to pay $1.9 billon to settle a U.S. money laundering probe.

The Financial Services Authority said Tuesday that HSBC must establish a board committee with a mandate to oversee matters relating to anti-money laundering and terrorist financing.

It also said it has required HSBC to appoint a group money laundering officer approved by the regulator to ensure that the company complies with all anti-money laundering requirements.

HSBC agreed to a record settlement with U.S. authorities on Tuesday over a probe in connection with the laundering of money from drug traffickers in Mexico.

The U.S. government also alleges that HSBC intentionally allowed prohibited transactions with Iran, Libya, Sudan and Burma.